czech and mate
cardboard cops in miniskirts stop traffic
Authorities say that life-sized cardboard cutouts of female police officers in miniskirts placed alongside roads have managed to slow speeding drivers in several central Czech towns. The mayor of the town of Mrakotin, Miroslav Pozar, said Thursday drivers, including him, automatically slow down when they see such officers. Pozar dismissed allegations this was because the drivers want to look at the officer's legs, rather than her uniform. In nearby Myslotin, a local radio station recently provided a hat and an anorak to help such officer get warm, but they were stolen in a day. Others made away with the cardboard officer itself.
Hyena dung find is serious stuff
Researchers say a curled-up brown fossil dredged up off the Dutch coast is an ancient piece of hyena dung, the first found in the North Sea dating to the Late Pleistocene era, 12,000-100,000 years ago. Jelle Reumer, director of the Rotterdam Natural History museum called the prehistoric piece of poop "a beauty." It was found during work to expand Rotterdam's port, and it was dated by its sediment layer. "Cave" hyenas were once common in Europe, and the fossil closely resembles modern hyena dung.
letter of the law
It is Christmas, and it is a tree
German police say an "old hippie" is facing possible prosecution for his version of the, ahem, highest Christmas tree — a festively decorated 6-foot marijuana plant. Koblenz police spokesman Ralf Schomisch said officers raided the apartment of the 58-year-old man following a tip and uncovered a cache of 5.3 ounces of marijuana. In the living room they discovered the tree — a pot plant adorned with Christmas lights. The suspect, whose name was not released, said he had planned to decorate it further and put presents under it at Christmas. Schomisch said authorities "had to destroy this pre-Christmas dream" and seize the plant as evidence.
Mayor has to face the music
Operas are no stranger to melodrama, but it usually doesn't involve an elected official. Gagik Beglarian, mayor of the Armenia's capital, resigned after punching a presidential aide in the face in a quarrel over seating at a Placido Domingo concert. To make matters worse, the victim was a member of the presidential protocol department. Armenian media say Beglarian launched the attack after learning the official had asked the mayor's wife to surrender her concert seat next to Armenian President Serge Sarkisian. It wasn't clear if Beglarian's wife sought the seat to be close to the president or the performance by the Spanish tenor.
Compiled from Times wires.