Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The skinny

1 man + 1 peanut + 1 squirrel = $50 fine + 1 song

kabul, afghanistan Off to the mountains With plenty of padding beneath them, Afghan Kuchi children travel on a camel Tuesday. The Kuchis are Pashtun nomadic herders who move to pasture lands in the mountains of central Afghanistan in the summer and spend the winter in warmer places.

Associated Press

kabul, afghanistan Off to the mountains With plenty of padding beneath them, Afghan Kuchi children travel on a camel Tuesday. The Kuchis are Pashtun nomadic herders who move to pasture lands in the mountains of central Afghanistan in the summer and spend the winter in warmer places.


Related News/Archive

1 Man + 1 Peanut + 1 squirrel = $50 fine + 1 song

A Montreal blues musician who ignored a ticket for feeding a squirrel in a park for more than two years was given four months to pay a $50 fine Monday. Bruce Kert had — gasp! — tossed a peanut to a squirrel in Westmount in 2006, a violation of a bylaw to discourage the spread of vermin. Kert said that because he missed several court dates, the original $40 fine had risen to $455. He said he didn't know why it was reduced to $50 at Monday's hearing. He also complained he wasn't first given a warning by the public safety officer who ticketed him. To hear the story in Kert's own words, listen to Squirrelgate online at

You saw a squirrel? No? Anyway, tell us

Scientists attempting to count the number of squirrels per ZIP code in the Chicago area are asking people to record sightings of the rodents on a Web site. The Chicago Academy of Sciences, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and the University of Illinois at Chicago say data collected on ­ will offer insight into the rodents' behavior and the overall ecology of the region. Visitors to the Web site are taken through a checklist that asks for the date, time, location and other information. So far, so good. But the researchers are also asking area residents to report when they see no squirrels, as that can mean something, too. This will yield reams of useful data, for sure.

Smoke, or else

Economic health or actual health?

A Chinese county recently told civil servants and teachers to smoke 230,000 packs of the locally-made Hubei brand cigarettes each year or face being fined or even fired. "The regulation will boost the local economy via the cigarette tax," a member of the cigarette market supervision team in Gong'an county, Hubei province, said then. A newspaper speculated the measure was probably an attempt to shore up the Hubei brands against competition from cigarettes produced elsewhere. Local authorities were initially undeterred by health risks, but have backtracked after facing criticism. "We decided to remove this edict," a statement said Tuesday without elaborating.

Swine flu

Country's only pig now even lonelier

Afghanistan's only known pig has been locked in a room, away from visitors to Kabul zoo where it normally grazes beside deer and goats, because people are worried it could infect them with swine flu. The pig is a curiosity in Muslim Afghanistan, where pork and pig products are illegal because they are considered irreligious, and has been in quarantine since Sunday after visitors expressed alarm it could spread the new flu strain. "Most people don't have enough knowledge. When they see the pig in the cage they get worried and think that they could get ill," zoo director Aziz Gul Saqib said.

Compiled from Times wires and sources.

1 man + 1 peanut + 1 squirrel = $50 fine + 1 song 05/05/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 10:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Iraq's Kurds vote on independence, raising regional fears


    IRBIL, Iraq — Iraqi Kurds voted Monday in a landmark referendum on supporting independence, a move billed by the Kurdish leadership as an exercise in self-determination but viewed as a hostile act by Iraq's central government. Neighboring Turkey even threatened a military response.

    People celebrate Monday after voting closed in a referendum on independence in Irbil, Iraq.
  2. North Korean diplomat says Trump has 'declared war'


    UNITED NATIONS — North Korea's top diplomat said Monday that U.S. President Donald Trump's weekend tweet was a "declaration of war" and North Korea has the right to retaliate by shooting down U.S. bombers, even in international airspace.

    North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, center, speaks outside the U.N. Plaza Hotel in New York on Monday,.
  3. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals


    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  4. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]
  5. Man injured when small helicopter crashes into Odessa home


    ODESSA — A small manned helicopter crashed into the roof of a house in northwest Hillsborough County on Monday, injuring a pilot, officials said.

    Rescuers respond to a crash of a small helicopter on the roof of a home in the Odessa area on Monday. [Hillsborough County Fire Rescue]