Quirky World: Commentator hands gold to Phelps’ rival Lochte

Some of the stranger stories from around the world

Canada: A sports commentator was forced to apologise on air after handing swimmer Michael Phelps’s latest Olympic triumph to rival Ryan Lochte.

Phelps blew away his American team-mate and the rest of the competition in the 200m individual medley final to win his fourth gold in Rio and his 22nd overall in the Olympics, while Lochte finished fifth, nearly three seconds behind Phelps.

Commentator Elliotte Friedman quickly realised his mistake when an on-screen graphic appeared showing Phelps had won. His tone changed from excited to gutted and he corrected himself, saying: “I apologise, I got my lanes mixed up.”

Father and son

USA:

A judge handed out tissues in court as a tearful jail inmate was allowed to hold his baby son for the first time.

Judge Amber Wolf, from Jefferson County, Kentucky, allowed 24-year-old James Roeder to meet his month-old son during the unexpected encounter. Roeder and his wife Ashley are co-defendants in a burglary case and had been ordered not to have contact with each other.

In between the couple’s hearings in a case involving six flat-screen televisions stolen from a warehouse, Judge Wolf made a temporary exception to the order when she heard Roeder had not seen his son.

Elephant triumph

Tanzania:

Conservationists are using an unorthodox way of keeping elephants from wandering into human settlements — by throwing condoms filled with chilli powder at them.

The method has proved effective and Honeyguide Foundation, which hit upon the idea several years ago, with US-based Nature Conservancy has stepped up its promotion, training volunteers in villages in north Tanzania to use a non-violent four-step way of protecting their homes and crops without hurting the animals. Previously many used spears to defend themselves.

Driving drama

England:

An elderly motorist drove for 10km in the wrong direction on a motorway after he became confused after returning on a flight to the UK.

Keith Taylor pulled on to the hard shoulder of the M23 motorway in Sussex before making a U-turn, heading south on the northbound carriageway.

The 79-year-old, from Norfolk, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and was sentenced to six months in jail, suspended for two years. He was also disqualified from driving for two years and told he must take an extended driving test before reapplying for his licence.

Rare catch

USA:

A Massachusetts man has made a rare catch, snagging a bright blue lobster. More unusually, it’s not the first time he has caught one.

Jan Nickerson said her husband Wayne let out a loud exclamation after spotting a bright blue lobster in his catch. He had caught the first decades ago.

The odds of catching a blue lobster are said to be one in 2m, but no-one knows for sure.

Heritage funds

England:

The world’s only surviving gas-lit cinema and the country home which inspired designer William Morris are among historic places receiving a share of a £55m (€63m) Heritage Lottery Fund.

Hyde Park Picture House in Leeds, which opened just after the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 and became popular broadcasting news bulletins and morale-boosting dramas, will get £2.4m.

Morris’s home in Oxfordshire,is receiving £4.7m to help double opening days and visitor numbers.

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