QUIRKY WORLD... Banksy art vandalised after just two weeks

BANKSY ART HIT BY CRUDE VANDALISM

ENGLAND: A mural by street artist Banksy has been vandalised just two weeks after it appeared on a wall in a seaside town.

The piece, called ‘Art Buff’, depicts an older woman staring at an empty plinth while wearing headphones with her hands clasped behind her back.

But a spray-painted penis was added to the plinth of the artwork in Payers Park in Folkestone, Kent.

The damage is not permanent as clear plastic sheeting was placed over the mural not long after it appeared.

Visitors flocked to admire the stencil-style “guerrilla” art when it arrived last month and Shepway District Council said it would work with the owner of the building to ensure it remained undamaged.

The Banksy website also showed pictures of the wall before and after the artwork appeared and claimed the image is “Part Of The Folkestone Triennial. Kind Of”.

Patient takes wheel of ambulance in Arizona

USA: Authorities say a patient wanting out of an Arizona hospital used an ambulance as his getaway vehicle.

Goodyear police spokeswoman Lisa Kutis says Michael Lopez hijacked a parked ambulance on Sunday outside West Valley Hospital in metro Phoenix.

Kutis says a firefighter sitting in the back was able to jump out safely. Police pursued Lopez, who failed to pull over.

Authorities used GPS to locate the vehicle and Lopez at his home in Avondale.

Kutis says he was arrested on charges of theft of means of transportation, felony flight, failure to yield to police and disorderly conduct. She said Lopez, who felt he was being hospitalised against his will, is being booked into a jail.

URBAN LADYBIRDS

ENGLAND: Invasive harlequin ladybirds which have spread rapidly through the UK in the last decade are “city slickers” that prefer urban areas, a study suggests.

Many people will have found the ladybirds, originally from east Asia and larger and more voracious than their UK cousins, clustered on windowsills in winter.

Now research suggests the harlequin’s ability to over-winter in buildings and eat a wide range of prey has allowed the species to establish itself rapidly in towns and cities.

SEAL PUP

WALES: Vets are nursing a baby seal back to health — after finding it in a car park.

RSPCA officials found the young pup in a poor state outside the RNLI’s boathouse in Borth, Cardiganshire, west Wales. Collection officer William Galvin said he believed the seal had come up from the beach, crossed the road and then into the car park. “It had a few injuries. It was obviously in distress and looked very thin. There were no signs of its parents looking for him.”

SEND OUT THE CLOWNS

USA: People dressed as clowns are causing a stir in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

The latest after-dark sighting came on Saturday, when police in Bakersfield responded at around 8pm to a report of a clown holding a firearm.

Officers searched but did not find anyone.

RETURN FARE

SRI LANKA: Cheered by tens of thousands of people, a train decorated with banana plants and colourful flower garlands has arrived in Sri Lanka’s northern Tamil heartland, 24 years after the “Queen of Jaffna” was suspended due to civil war.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa bought a ticket and boarded the train for the last 27 miles of the journey and opened several railway stations along the way.

“Yarl Devi”, as it is known in Tamil, was once a popular mode of transport between the ethnic Tamil-majority north and the Sinhala-majority south but was scaled back in 1990 because of the heightening civil war between the government and Tamil Tiger rebels.

The war raged from 1983 to 2009, when Sri Lankan troops crushed the rebels.


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