Portly best friend
Overactive appetite may have saved dog
A "morbidly obese" border collie named Jiffy in Sheboygan, Wis., spent Wednesday night frozen to the sidewalk. The local Humane Society says that most dogs would not have survived all that time in single-digit temperatures, but Jiffy's layers and layers of fat probably protected him. Shelter workers unstuck the dog by pouring hot water over his rear end, and it was too early to know if Jiffy, who is 11 or 12 years old and weighs 120 pounds, suffered any long-term injuries. His owner, however, was arrested on suspicion of animal neglect.
Moscow mayor fears 'contagious' parades
The mayor of Moscow, Yuri Luzhkov, announced at an international HIV/AIDS conference this week that in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease, he will continue to ban gay-rights parades. He did not cite specific research that indicates parades have spread the disease in the past, but that will remain the policy of the mayor. And to emphasize his point, the mayor called the parades "satanic."
Rock-paper-scissors in runoff election
Election officials have broken a 34-34 tie for a village board seat in Denton, Neb., by drawing a name from a rotating drum. Lancaster County Election Commissioner Dave Shively put 10 pieces of paper in the drum, five with the name of Richard Spellman and five marked for Sebastian Carnazzo. From that, Carnazzo emerged the winner.
Order in courts
In Italy, 'Lewinsky' is grounds for libel
The Cessation Court of Italy has ruled that a woman, identified only as Gennarina M., may sue a lawyer for libel on the grounds that the lawyer said that she had a "Lewinskian nature," a comparison to former President Bill Clinton's infamous intern. A lower court ruled that the dig was not libelous, but in an appeal, the Cessation Court ruled that the matter was worth a new trial.
Guilty could face 'Copacabana'-to-life
Judge Paul Sacco of Fort Lupton, Colo., has a stock punishment for people who are convicted of playing their music too loud in the otherwise quiet community. He sentences them to a few hours of Barry Manilow. Or worse. "Most kids don't want to hear somebody like Glenn Close trying to sing opera," Sacco told KUSA-TV. Frankly, it doesn't sound like he wants to hear it either. Sacco got the idea when most offenders paid a fine without appearing to feel punished at all.
Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.