QUIRKY WORLD ... Stars help budding musicians reach high note



An instrument amnesty launched for a TV series has now collected more than 6,000 items which will be distributed to help youngsters develop their musical ambitions.

Stars such as Labrinth, who donated a guitar, and Laura Marling, who handed over a dulcimer, have helped to swell the numbers — while figures such as Paul McCartney had given their support.

The instruments are now being given an overhaul by volunteer repairers after being gathered at a warehouse in west London and will be passed on to primary schools across the UK.




The National Lottery has turned 20, and some of the millionaires it has created have raised a glass of bubbly to toast the anniversary.

Winners from the past two decades came together for a glamorous photo shoot and told how the Lottery changed their lives.

Jane Cunningham, 54, from North Yorkshire, who scooped £7,544,200 in 2008, said: “My most unusual purchase was probably buying my daughter a boob job. She would have been 24 at the time.”




An underwear bandit is actively stealing women’s lingerie in Kodiak, Alaska.

State troopers said there has been a rash of burglaries reported lately.

People have returned to their homes to find items — mostly women’s underwear — missing. Hannah Clark said she began noticing items had been moved around in her home when she returned from fishing trips last summer but she did notconnect those incidents to her missing underwear until she heard the news this week. She said she cannot believe “there’s an actual underwear bandit”.



A four-year-old Alabama boy who climbed up a tree on a dare from his big brother had to be rescued after he got stuck for about two hours.

His grandmother said the boy and two of his brothers were playing outside when she went to see him and found him about 50ft up the tree. One boy stayed on the ground and she said she was able to coax another boy out of the tree, but the four-year-old was stuck.

She called firefighters but they could not reach him, so a specialist tree crew had to rescue the boy.




: A seal with a fondness for New Jersey beaches — and the food-sharing fishermen and beachgoers that come with them — is headed for Detroit after becoming a little too friendly with the locals.

Since March, the 100lb female gray seal had stopped on Long Island, New York, and New Jersey beaches at Sandy Hook, Island Beach State Park, Sea Isle City, and Longport.

Each time, animal rescue groups shooed it back into the water or treated it for illness or injury. But the seal kept coming back.

When people started petting it on a beach in Longport on September 5, the Marine Mammal Stranding Center removed it from the ocean permanently because it had become too acclimated to humans.

The animal’s odyssey began on March 9 when Long Island’s Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research responded to a report of a young seal with a swollen flipper. The animal was rehabilitated at the centre for just over three months and released on June 14. On July 10, New Jersey’s Marine Mammal Stranding Center received a call about a seal on the beach with a fishing hook lodged in its mouth. A technician from the centre removed the hook.

Because the animal had no other obvious injuries or illnesses, it was released and went back into the water. But two days later, the seal was back ashore again, this time in Sea Isle City. The stranding center picked it up and brought it to its Brigantine facility, where personnel noticed the animal had a cough, and put it on antibiotics.When the cough disappeared and blood tests showed the seal had no illness, it was released at Sandy Hook on August 18.

After deciding the seal was too used to humans to ever return to the ocean, the stranding centre notified federal wildlife officials, who found a home for it at the Detroit Zoo.




Police said a western Pennsylvania man has been charged with passing counterfeit $20 bills at a yard sale run by the wrong woman — a bank teller.

Trooper Terry Geibel said the teller is trained to know the look and feel of real money. The Kittanning Leader-Times reported that 40-year-old Gregory Douglas has been charged with forgery, a felony, and theft by deception. He remained jailed on Friday on previous counterfeiting and other charges.

Amy Miller, the teller at Citizens Bank in Kittanning, said the bills weren’t printed on “money paper. Compared to the other 20s in my bag, it was really white.”


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