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The skinny

The skinny: A spray of DNA keeps the robbers away

hamburgler alert

A little SPRAY OF DNA KEEPS the ROBBERS AWAY

When the McDonald's in Rotterdam was burglarized a few years ago, its managers went looking for a new security system. As luck would have it, local police were offering something totally different that they hoped would stem a rising tide of robberies that occur mainly in the immigrant neighborhoods of the rough-and-tumble port city in the Netherlands. It involves an employee-activated device that sprays a fine, barely visible mist laced with synthetic DNA to cover anyone in its path, including criminals, and simultaneously alerts the police to a crime in progress. The mist — visible only under ultraviolet light — carries DNA markers particular to the location, enabling police to match the burglar with the place burgled. Now, a sign on the front door of the McDonald's prominently warns potential thieves of the spray's presence: "You Steal, You're Marked."

waxing poetic

Israeli art exhibit awakens emotions

A lifelike sculpture of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is stirring high emotions among Israelis. While in office, Sharon suffered a devastating stroke that has left him comatose for nearly five years. An art exhibit opening this week in Tel Aviv features a wax figure of Sharon in his hospital bed. Artist Noam Braslavasky said he created the exhibit because Sharon has been absent from the public eye for so long. He says the sculpture, with its chest moving up and down to depict Sharon's dependence on a breathing machine, is an allegory about Israel's precarious state of existence, which he says is "hanging between the heavens and the earth."

legal brief

Litigious prisoner litigates no more

A federal judge has put a stop to new legal actions by an inmate in Kentucky who has filed more than 5,000 lawsuits and targeted the famous, the infamous and even the long-dead. Under an order issued Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Karl F. Forester, the Bureau of Prisons can review and reject any legal mail sent by Jonathan Lee Riches. Since 2006, Riches has filed lawsuits in nearly every jurisdiction in the country. The 33-year-old inmate at the federal prison in Lexington has sued New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, former President George W. Bush, then-Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and even Somali pirates.

no tipping

His sentence: pizza delivery to poor

A Buffalo, N.Y., restaurateur will be feeding pizza to the poor as punishment for cheating the state out of sales tax. Casa-Di-Pizza owner Joseph Jacobbi, 57, could have been sent to prison after pleading guilty to third-degree grand larceny, but a state Supreme Court judge thought the city would be better served by sentencing him to deliver 12 sheet pizzas from his restaurant to the City Mission once a week for a year.

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources.

The skinny: A spray of DNA keeps the robbers away 10/19/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 5:12pm]
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