QUIRKY WORLD ... Our daily look at some of the world’s stranger stories

Woman gives birth - but thought she had a tummy ache

ENGLAND: A woman who thought she would never be a mother gave birth just 15 hours after visiting her GP with “tummy ache”.

Amanda Ross, 41, said she had not experienced any symptoms of pregnancy before giving birth to her daughter, Chloe.

“I had the munchies, but nothing, no cravings for anything in particular. I did not feel any movement. I put on a little bit of weight but nothing that was like a baby bump,” she told ITV’s Daybreak.

Ross said she visited her GP after feeling a “little bit unwell” and had been told she could be pregnant. She was referred the same day for a scan with a midwife, who told her she was around seven to eight months pregnant. Chloe, weighing 4lb 9oz, was born the next morning by emergency Caesarean section at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.

Man finds ring ... 65 years later

USA: If finding a high school ring doesn’t seem like a big deal, consider this: Until a few days ago, the last time Dick Diedrich saw his ring was 1948.

Diedrich, 82, now has his class of 1949 ring from J Sterling Morton High School in Cicero thanks to a man from Wisconsin, who returned it to him after finding it with a metal detector in a lake near his home.

The ring’s journey back to its owner in Illinois began with Mike Geiger’s phone call earlier this month to the Mattoon home of Dick Diedrich and his wife of 60 years, Doris.

“He said: ‘I think I have something that goes back to your high school years,’ ” Diedrich said. “At that point the story with the ring popped into my head.”

It seems that, back in high school, Diedrich exchanged rings with his then-sweetheart, Doris. He said she only took his ring off “when they were dissecting frogs” in biology class.

In mid-1948, Doris put it on a shelf to wash her hands after biology class and when she turned around the ring was gone, as was another girl in the washroom. It has been missing until now.

“She was quite confident it got stolen,” Diedrich said.

Chinese politician stripped of his post after using perks to fund his daughter’s wedding

CHINA: Lavish weddings, fancy holidays, and wine on the public purse were among corrupt perks that led China’s ruling Communist Party to discipline 2,290 officials so far this year.

The party’s disciplinary arm provided examples of breaches, including a party chief who was stripped of his post for holding an extravagant wedding for his daughter and receiving around £100,000 (€115,000) in cash and gifts.

Party officials, led by President Xi Jinping, hail their efforts to eradicate extravagance among cadres as evidence that they are serious about cracking down on the graft that plagues them at every level.

Drugs found on Justin Bieber’s tour bus at Canadian border

USA: US border agents found marijuana on a bus with singer Justin Bieber’s tour as it crossed into Detroit from Windsor, Canada.

The singer was not on the bus at the time and performed later the same night at Joe Louis Arena.

A police dog found the drugs, the driver was given a warning, and the vehicle and its passengers allowed to go.

Meanwhile, German authorities have posted a public notice urging the singer to get in touch with them about an unpaid bill for his former pet monkey Mally.

Bieber failed to produce the necessary vaccination and import papers for the monkey when he arrived for a European tour in March. Mally became the property of the German government in May when the Canadian singer failed to claim his pet.

A spokesman for the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation says Bieber has one week to pay €1,130 for the monkey’s care.

Franz Boehmer said yesterday that customs officials “have ways of making him pay” next time he enters Germany.

Bieber is already on the hook for a separate €5,000 bill from Munich customs.

Olympic heroes inspire patriotic pet names

ENGLAND: The success of last year’s London Olympic heroes seems to be reflected in the most popular pet names of 2013, with Mo and Bradley racing up a list compiled by The Co-operative Pet Insurance.

Cat owners were perhaps inspired by long-distance runner Mo Farah and the current British Sports Personality of the Year, cyclist Bradley Wiggins, as Mo and Bradley become new entries in the top 100 cats’ names.

Jess ran up 43 places to become the 33rd most popular dog name, with Ellie also proving popular at number 41, up 17 places, perhaps reflecting the success of golden girls Jessica Ennis and Ellie Simmonds.

Million pound Stradivarius violin recovered after it was stolen 3 years ago

ENGLAND: A 1696 Antonio Stradivarius violin worth £1.2m (€1.37m), which was stolen by thieves in 2010, has been found in the Midlands.

The 300-year-old instrument and two bows worth £67,000 were stolen from Korean-born violinist Min-Jin Kym, 35, by opportunists while she was in a cafe at London’s Euston station.

Police said investigators had verified the find with experts and the violin is now being held at a secure London location. Internationally-acclaimed Kym said: “It’s been a very difficult journey; I still can’t quite believe what has happened.”


The long-tailed tit’s nest is an architectural marvel.Richard Collins: Altruism of the long-tailed tits or not

The flight that brought us home to Ireland after our seven months sojourn in the Canary Islands (half our stay intended, half not) was the most comfortable I’ve experienced in years. With a large plane almost entirely to yourself, you could again pretend you were somebody.Damien Enright: Wonderful to see the green, green grass of home

IRISH folklore is replete with stories of priests praying for fine weather to help farmers save their crops in wet summers. However, the opposite could soon be happening when divine powers may have to be invoked to provide rain. And not just for farmers.Donal Hickey: Praying for rain — in Ireland

Geography is often the defining factor for the destiny of an island. Those islands that lie close to the shore have often been snapped up by interests on the mainland and their morphology changed to something completely different.The Islands of Ireland: Tarbert morphed onto the mainland

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