QUIRKY WORLD ... Up for a laugh... Brum is Britain’s funniest city

ENGLAND: Birmingham has been crowned the funniest city in the UK, according to a study.

Analysis of over 3m social conversations, combined with consumer research, uncovered the laughter profiles of 25 towns and cities across the country and resulted in Birmingham — famous for the likes of Jasper Carrott and Frank Skinner — coming out on top.

The Midlands city pipped Leeds to the top spot, according to the study by lastminute.com. The top five was completed by Cardiff, Hull, and Newcastle.

Pokémon expulsion

FRANCE:

Attention, legendary Pokémon creatures: You may soon be expelled from the schools of France.

Education minister, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, said the makers of the Pokémon Go smartphone game should stop beaming their most avidly hunted Pokémon figures into real-life schools.

She has told a Paris news conference that she intends to meet representatives of California-based Niantic to explain that the game entices non-students to wander into children’s schools. She sees the quest for rare, or “legendary,” characters as posing the greatest security risk of unwanted walk-ins by strangers. She says principals already can apply online for Niantic to remove their school from the game’s global map.

Subway prank

USA:

A woman who caused chaos on a subway train by releasing a container of crickets and worms said it was all a prank. Zaida Pugh told the New York Post she had the episode videotaped “to show what homeless people go through”.

The NYPD is still looking into whether the incident was staged and whether Pugh and the woman on the train are the same person. If so, she could face charges.

Charlotte returns

USA:

A missing Vietnamese potbellied pig which acts as a therapy animal has been returned to its owners.

Charlotte served as a therapy animal at Beaver Elder Care and Rehab Centre in Hopewell Township, Pennsylvania, where she helped to cheer up residents.

Owner Katie Manni and her fiancé, Edward Perry, got Charlotte in February, when she was six weeks old. The pig was left in a car with a pair of pugs for about 10 minutes on July 11 while Mr Perry ran into the centre to get keys from Ms Manni, who directs nurses there. When he returned, the pig was gone.

Drugs bust

USA:

A New Mexico police sergeant accused of unwittingly recording himself on a lapel camera taking marijuana from his office and giving it to his girlfriend has been released from jail.

KOB-TV in Albuquerque reported that Grants police Sgt Roshern McKinney was out of jail. It wasn’t immediately known under what conditions he was released. State police say McKinney was arrested last Wednesday. A probe was requested in July after the video recording was found.

He faces charges of distribution of marijuana, conspiracy and felony embezzlement. According to state police, McKinney also allegedly embezzled $785 (€702) and an 8-ounce brick of marijuana not submitted to the department’s evidence vault.

At rest

USA:

Some mistakes are never too late to fix.

A Civil War soldier misidentified when he was buried at an Ohio cemetery more than 150 years ago is to get a new headstone.

Confederate soldier Augustus Beckmann was fatally wounded in the Battle of Shiloh on April 7, 1862. But he was buried at the Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery in Columbus under the wrong name, A Bergman, and wrong company, The Columbus Dispatch reports.

Beckmann’s brother’s great-great-grandson, Greg Beckman, discovered the error when he visited Camp Chase last Memorial Day.

Beckman, a teacher in California, pulled together the necessary documentation and asked the National Cemetery Administration to fix the headstone. He recently learned his request was approved.

An administration spokeswoman says approved stones are typically in place within 60 days.

Beckman’s great-great grandfather, William Beckmann, was Augustus’ brother. The two came to America from present-day Germany between 1858 and 1860 and enlisted in the 2nd Texas Infantry in Galveston.

“William never learned the fate of his brother, as August was buried under the wrong surname of Bergman all those years,” Beckman said. “The last time they saw one another was on the battlefield of Shiloh.”

August Beckmann was buried under the name Bergman at Camp Dennison near Cincinnati, and the incorrect name followed him when his remains and those of 30 other soldiers were removed in 1869 and reinterred at Camp Chase.


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