Quirky World: Get thee to a nunnery... after paying thy debts

Some of the stranger stories from around the world

USA: An aspiring nun who was told she couldn’t enter a convent until her student loan debt was paid off has used an online appeal to get the money.

Alida Taylor, 28, was accepted to join the Sisters of Life in New York City in September.

The Clifton, New Jersey, woman started a GoFundMe page late last month, hoping to get $12,000 to pay down her student loans. She surpassed her goal, raising more than $22,000.

In an update on the crowdfunding page, Taylor said the extra money will be used for a vocation fund for Casa Guadalupe, a house of prayer and discernment for Catholic women, where Taylor is currently staying.

She told WCBS in New York that “The Lord when it’s his will, he always provides, and I just trust him.”

Poke trap

USA:

Police in New Hampshire’s largest city have got the Pokemon Go bug, trying to lure fugitives with the popular app.

A post on the Manchester Police Department Facebook page announces that police recently detected one of the more rare Pokemon characters — a Charizard — in the booking area. The post invites those whose names appear on a list linked to the post to be “one of the lucky ones” to come capture the Charizard.

The list includes the names of the more than 500 fugitives on the department’s wanted persons round-up. Sgt Eric Knight said the post has yet to net an arrest, but has proved popular with its Facebook followers.

Lost game

ENGLAND:

A Pokemon Go player called 999 to tell police that someone had “stolen their Pokemon”.

The gaming fan contacted Gloucestershire Police as an emergency while using the hugely popular app on the day after its UK launch. Police gave the player “words of advice” on when it is appropriate to call 999.

Nottinghamshire Police also said it has received seven calls in the past week relating to “suspicious activity”, when in each of the cases it was just gamers playing Pokemon Go.

Royal curry

ENGLAND:

Prince Charles thought he had spilt some curry down his crisp white shirt — thanks to a joke from his wife.

The Prince had lifted up a spoon of rogan josh curry to smell the rich aroma when the Duchess of Cornwall made the wisecrack at his expense. Charles looked surprised and looked down at his shirt but quickly realised Camilla was having him on.

She made the joke as the Royal couple began the first day of a three-day annual tour to Devon and Cornwall celebrating local food and drink and the region’s stage and screen talent.

Turtle delay

USA:

Mother Nature is delaying some travellers at New York’s JFK airport — but the weather has nothing to do with it.

Nearly 400 diamondback terrapin turtles have laid eggs and built nests in the area around the airport, and some have been spotted wandering into the paths of planes preparing to take off.

The turtles’ normal habitat is the nearby Jamaica Bay salt marshes, but they also feel at home in the sand along the airport perimeter. When they are spotted near planes, they are rounded up — with flights held up while they returned to safety.

Getting the hump

USA:

A dead humpback whale that keeps washing up on the Southern California coast after being towed out to sea is proving to be a headache for beach officials.

A construction crew in Encinitas tried cutting up the rotting carcass on Sunday but work was halted when part of a forklift snapped off.

Marine Safety Captain Larry Giles told The San Diego Union-Tribune that lifeguards covered the 22-ton whale with sand to try to ease the stench.

Officials believe the carcass that came ashore on Saturday at Grandview Beach is the now-infamous whale dubbed Wally.

Wally was first towed away after washing up in Los Angeles County before the Fourth of July weekend. The carcass was towed three more times after drifting back toward shore.

Storing up

ENGLAND:

Shoppers were trapped in a car park for more than three hours as they attempted to leave a newly-opened Ikea store.

Frustrated customers were left beeping their horns as they struggled to get out of the multi-storey car park of the superstore in Reading.

One man joked it was “easier to leave Europe than the Ikea Reading car park”.

Rory Firth, 40, told the Press Association: “It was just bedlam. We were stuck for about an hour but a lot of people were stuck for upwards of three hours.”

The father-of-two, from Maidenhead, Berkshire, said it was “a real nightmare”.

Stacey Barber, 22, from Hampshire, said the three-hour delay had ruined her day’s shopping. “We were stuck for three hours and we only went to return something. We didn’t get home till 6 so all the shops were shut and missed out on a whole afternoon.”

Ms Barber added that staff handed out bottles of water but had “no idea what they were doing”.


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