QUIRKY WORLD ... A daily look at some of the world’s stranger stories


GERMANY: Boxes filled with bananas and cocaine were delivered to five Berlin supermarkets in what police on Tuesday called a “logistical error” by drug smugglers.

Supermarket staff discovered the containers with a total of 140kg of cocaine on Monday shortly before the fruit went on sale to the public, police and customs investigators said.

It was the largest discovery of cocaine in Germany’s capital in about 15 years and has an estimated black market value of €6m, according to police.

“We were of course surprised,” senior police officer Olaf Schremm, who heads the local drug investigation department, told reporters.

“I don’t know where the mistake was in the perpetrators’ delivery chain.”

The banana cartons, part of a consignment of 1,134 boxes, were brought by ship from Colombia to Hamburg and delivered to a fruit wholesaler in Berlin. Cocaine was found in seven of them, Schremm said.

The boxes were eventually delivered to five supermarkets in the Berlin area, but investigators said the intended destination of the cocaine was unclear.

German authorities say drug smugglers use air mail or couriers to import cocaine more often than ships. In 2012, investigators seized 1.26 tonnes of cocaine in total.


WALES: A fan of rock group Kiss has spent at least £25,000 (€30,315) on merchandise and following the band over the world — and admits it has cost him a number of girlfriends in the process.

But devotee Dan Griffiths insists that his obsession is worth every penny as the antics of Gene Simmons and co helped him come to terms with his dwarfism.

As well as attending 48 of the band’s gigs to date, the 45-year-old has a tattoo covering his entire back with the faces of each band member, and the Kiss logo complete with lightning bolt in the middle.

Mr Griffiths, who works at the National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales in Aberystwyth, said: “The first feeling when I saw them on TV was ‘Wow, these guys look like freaks’. And maybe at the time I thought of myself as a freak.

“How many dwarves are there in the world — around one in 50,000 people? I’m a freak and I’m unique.

“When I was a teenager and the kids around me were growing taller, from 4ft up to 6ft, the same thing wasn’t happening to me.

“But through Kiss, and with the support of friends and family, I’m still here and I’m loving every minute.”


USA: A peacock had to be rescued by firefighters after flying from its heated pen to a nearby tree and freezing to a branch in the subzero temperatures sweeping the US.

Blue the peacock is now recovering after the misadventure that lasted about 90 minutes. Blue flew from his enclosure at the Randall Oaks Barnyard Zoo in Dundee, near Chicago, and perched atop a nearby pine. Firefighters with a ladder helped zoo staff pluck the bird from the tree.


ENGLAND: Tube travellers using the system on its 200th anniversary in 2063 will get a glimpse of what commuting was like in the 150th year – 2013.

A time capsule to be opened in 50 years is going on display in the Tottenham Court Road Underground station in central London, where redevelopment is taking place.


USA: Arizona wildlife officials have seized two tigers that were being kept in back gardens in the Phoenix area.

The first tiger was found rope-tied in the garden, the second was located three days later being kept in a large dog kennel.

Both tigers are about eight months old and appear to be in good health. They will be moved to a wildlife preserve.


AUSTRIA: Alarmingly high readings for a dump truck arriving at an incinerator in Austria were caused by radioactive adult nappies.

Nearly two dozen nappies from a hospital had become contaminated with radioactive iodine. The substance is swallowed during some medical and diagnostic procedures.

USA: A western Pennsylvania pizza shop has been delivering prescription medicines and other supplies to ill and elderly residents so they don’t have to go outside in the bitter cold.

Tom Wynkoop, owner of Fox’s Pizza Den in Ligonier, told WPXI-TV that he tweeted his offer because his community about 70km east of Pittsburgh has a lot of elderly residents.


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