QUIRKY WORLD ... Big cat terrorises family

USA: A rampaging, 22lb Oregon house cat with a “history of violence” attacked a baby and trapped a family and their dog in a bedroom at their Portland home before being captured by police, authorities said.

The incident began when the cat, a black-and-white Himalayan, scratched a 7-month-old baby in the face, according to Portland Police Bureau spokesman Sergeant Pete Simpson.

The baby’s father kicked the cat in the backside, which sent it into a rage, and the parents and baby, along with their dog, retreated into a bedroom as the father called police, Simpson said.

Meanwhile, the cat blocked the bedroom doorway and could be heard on the 911 call screeching loudly, Simpson said.

“He said that the cat has a history of violence,” Simpson said, referring to the father speaking to the 911 operator. When officers arrived and entered the house, they saw the cat scurry into the kitchen. After it scrambled atop the fridge, officers snared it and put it in a travel-style kennel, Simpson said.

Safely behind bars, the cat was left in the custody of the family, Simpson said. It was not clear what they intend to do with the animal, he said.

The baby suffered some scratches to the face but was not seriously hurt.

Drunken groom fights with bride on jet, forces emergency landing

USA: A groom on his honeymoon got into a drunken argument with his bride aboard a flight form Atlanta to Costa Rica, forcing the Delta Air Lines aircraft to make an emergency landing on Grand Cayman island, authorities said.

The US citizen was escorted from the flight after it landed by Cayman Islands police and was being held in custody on a charge of drunk and disorderly conduct, according to Royal Cayman Islands Chief Inspector Raymond Christian.

The bride remained aboard for the flight to San Jose, Costa Rica, he said. He did not name the bride or the groom involved in the incident other than to say the groom was a US citizen.

The removed passenger could face further charges under the international air law, according to Christian.

Delta spokeswoman Lindsay McDuff confirmed that a “disruptive customer” prompted the crew of flight 901 to divert to Grand Cayman.

“The flight landed without incident and the customer was met by local authorities,” McDuff said.

It was the second time in recent weeks that the airline had reportedly performed an emergency landing because of drunken behaviour by a passenger.

On February 7 a Delta flight from Baltimore to Salt Lake City was diverted due to an unruly female passenger who was described by officials as intoxicated.

Drivers stung by hundreds of bees

USA: Two drivers involved in a Los Angeles-area car crash each suffered hundreds of bee stings after one of the vehicles hit a tree and disturbed a hive.

One of the motorists, a 51-year-old woman, jumped into a backyard swimming pool to escape the swarming insects during the incident in La Canada Flintridge.

The driver of the other car, a 17-year-old girl, fell to the street where a deputy found her covered in bees.

He sprayed her with a fire extinguisher to get the swarm off of her. Both drivers were treated at a hospital.

Obama sings R-S-P-E-C-T, but Aretha doesn't mind

USA: Aretha Franklin has much R-E-S-P-E-C-T for US president Barack Obama — regardless of his spelling skills.

At a White House concert last week, Mr Obama dropped the initial “E” when trying to spell out ‘respect’ as the queen of soul does in her famous song.

“I’m sure the president had much on his agenda and was just a little tired,” the 71-year-old singer said, adding that no offence was taken. “The president and I are mutual when it comes to R-E-S-P-E-C-T,” she said.

Saviour sheep drafted in to protect butterflies

ENGLAND: A flock of 350 sheep has been drafted in to help protect butterflies which rely on rare chalk grassland to survive.

The grassland in the South Downs National Park, near Brighton, is one of the most endangered habitats in the UK and is vital for the survival of wildlife such as the Chalkhill blue and brown Argus butterflies, park ranger Phillippa Morrison- Price said.

“It only exists because of the grazing that’s taken place here over thousands of years. Reintroducing grazing animals, like these sheep, is vital for the survival of the grassland and the butterflies that need it to thrive,” she said.

Fire station goes up in flames

ENGLAND: An investigation has been launched after a fire station was destroyed by a blaze.

Eight fire appliances were called from across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire after flames were spotted coming from the windows of the fire station in Downham Market, Norfolk, at about 12.30am. The blaze started in a bay where the station’s fire engine was housed. Nobody was injured.

The town’s retained fire crew has been provided with new equipment and a replacement fire engine, which is being kept at the nearby police station.


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