Quirky World: Eagle-eyed UK police plan attack of the drones

Some of the stranger stories from around the world

ENGLAND:

The Metropolitan Police are considering using eagles to intercept drones as the fight against crime in the capital moves to the skies.

According to The Times, Met commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe has been impressed by similar tactics used by officers in the Netherlands.

Drones are already being used by police officers to capture footage on difficult terrain, including cliffs and woodland.

Room for a rabbit

SCOTLAND:

A “mischievous” giant rabbit the size of a dog is looking for a new home.

Seven-month-old Atlas is currently being cared for by staff at the Scottish SPCA centre in Cardonald, Glasgow, after his owner could no longer look after him.

The charity is appealing for potential new owners for the continental giant rabbit to get in touch. Centre manager Anna O’Donnell said: “Atlas is already about the size of a westie and is still young with some growing to do.”

Violent puppet show

SPAIN:

City authorities in Madrid have apologised to parents for exposing their children to a violent puppet show, but said the jailing of the puppeteers for allegedly praising terrorism was disproportionate.

The two puppeteers were detained without bail for using a sign saying ‘Long Live Alka ETA’, in a word-play reference to Spain’s armed Basque group Eta and al Qaeda.

The satirical theatre piece, commissioned by the city, also featured the hanging of a judge’s effigy, the stabbing of a nun with a crucifix and police beatings, leading parents attending with children to complain.

Madrid mayor Manuela Carmena admitted the show’s content was inappropriate for children but argued the jailing of the puppeteers was incomprehensible. Praising terrorism has been a crime in Spain since 1995.

Sanders tattoos

USA:

Fans of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders are wearing their support for him on their sleeves — and on their ribcages, calves, necks, and backs.

Several dozen people have flocked to Aartistic Tattoo in Montpelier, Vermont, to take up the offer of a free tattoo of the senator, complete with his unkempt hair and thick-rimmed glasses.

Tattoo artist Chad Fay said the promotion will run as long as Sanders does. Fay’s colleague Jessica Andrew said she inked Sanders’ image on eight people in two days— Fay has done at least 15 in a week.

Dog for a dollar

USA:

A recently retired police officer has been allowed to buy his former canine partner for a dollar.

Officials in Marietta, Ohio, created a stir when they said Matt Hickey’s police dog Ajax had to be sold at auction because it was city property and could still work. Hickey and Ajax worked together for three years, and the dog lived with him. The city then said it would allow Hickey to keep the dog if he continued to work for the police department on a volunteer basis after his retirement. The 57-year-old refused because he had retired over health concerns. Authorities have now relented, and Hickey said he is “speechless and very grateful”.

Stealing from the law

USA:

Authorities say a Pennsylvania man stole several police badges while he was being held for questioning in a domestic dispute.

Police say 26-year-old Robert Dingeldein stole the badges on October 30 while being questioned by Irwin officers.

The small town has all its borough offices in one building, so Dingeldein was held in the mayor’s office to keep him away from a woman also being questioned in the dispute. Police didn’t realise Dingeldein had taken anything from the office until someone else returned one of the stolen badges last month.

Dingeldein has since apologised and returned the three other badges he took.

He faces a preliminary hearing on May 18 on theft-related charges.

Bird in the home is worth...

JAPAN:

A sparrow has set up home with an elderly couple in Fukaya, in Japan’s Saitama prefecture, becoming the newest member of their family.

Resident Yoshiko Fujino first saw the bird, named Pee Chan, in November while working as a traffic guide for schoolchildren. It followed her home, resting on her shoulder and not wanting to leave. “He’s like a family member — he’s very comforting. It’s fun, coming home to a sparrow,” she said.

“My grandchildren have grown up, and there’s none who are still small, so I don’t know how to say it clearly, but he’s like a family member.”

Breaking the ice

USA:

The drivers of 15 vehicles parked on ice at Geneva Lake in the Wisconsin for a so-called Winterfest celebration on Saturday, but their festivities were interrupted when the ice broke.

Five of the vehicles that fell into the water were salvaged, as their owners drove out of the chilly lake, but the remaining 10 cars and trucks were write-offs.

Nobody was injured in the incident.


Lifestyle

Against popular wisdom and flying a plane made from bamboo, wire and bike handlebars, a Co Antrim woman blazed a sky trail for aviation and for the independence of women, writes Bette BrowneMagnificent Lilian Bland blazed a trail for independence of women in her plane of bamboo

The epic battle for the bridge at Arnhem, as depicted in the blockbuster 'A Bridge Too Far', saw the Allies aim to end the war by Christmas 1944, but failed as a huge airborne assault force failed to take the last bridge across the Rhine. In an extract from his latest book 'A Bloody Week', Dan Harvey tells the story of one of the hundreds of brave men from Ireland who gave their all to the Allied campaignThe bridge to war: Dan Harvey's new book looks at the Irish who went a bridge too far

More From The Irish Examiner