Indian comics grow to make their mark
The superhero — bulging legs stuffed into tight pants, broad chest adorned with a symbol of power — has vowed to fight evil-doers. Superman? Batman? Nah. He is Shaktimaan, protector of all humanity — at least in India. In the cartoon skies over India, the green-skinned Nagraj fights evil with snakes, widely worshiped across India, while three-eyed Shakti, clad in clingy leopard skins and skull ornaments, channels the Hindu death goddess Kali as she fights the scourge of female infanticide. All are part of a $65 million comic book industry expanding into animated TV shows, action films, advertising and digital Internet distribution.
Anybody out there?
There's hope for UFOs — or not
Are we alone in the universe, or are we not? The British National Archives on Thursday released thousands of government files related to UFOs over the years. And there's still nothing conclusive. The tidbits are interesting: a House of Lords debate about UFOs in 1979; U.S. documents prepared in the extraterrestrial-crazed 1950s; and a copy of a report produced in 1951 by the Flying Saucer Working Party that briefed Prime Minister Winston Churchill. In 1998, a man from West London wrote he saw a strange craft hovering over his garden, then awoke the next morning to find he had undergone a period of unexplained time. An official wrote back: that was the night the clocks were turned back an hour.
Tipple delayed, bottles topple
Police say a woman at a suburban New York liquor store swept her arm through a shelf of high-priced booze, smashing $1,600 worth onto the floor. She wasn't doing an impersonation of Carrie Nation, who in the early 1900s raided saloons and used her hatchet to destroy bottles of liquor. This being 2011, the woman was mad because she felt a clerk at Rite-Buy Wines & Liquors in Nyack was taking too long to wait on her. Among the damage Feb. 23: pricey Johnnie Walker Blue Label scotch. She turned herself in Friday.
Store video traps store's owners
Two New York City diamond dealers were convicted Friday of staging a phony heist on New Year's Eve 2008 in hopes of claiming $7 million in insurance to save their failing business. Authorities said Mahaveer Kankariya and Atul Shah arranged to have two supposed robbers — disguised as Hasidic Jews — descend on Dialite Imports and then falsely claimed thieves had stolen millions of dollars' worth of gems. They tried to disable the store's video-recording equipment by pouring drain cleaner on it, but it ended up storing incriminating images.
Compiled from Times wires and other sources.