party of one
belgium waffles, but not about futility record
What would be a humiliation for many turned into a party for Belgium Thursday as the country's citizens marked 249 days without a government, a figure that they are treating as a world record in political waffling. On every other day since general elections June 13, the crisis pits the leaders of 6 million Dutch-speakers against those of 4.5 million French speakers, but people from across the country put aside their differences to celebrate the occasion. "Finally world champion," the usually serious De Standaard headlined its Thursday edition, tongue firmly in cheek. It is arguable whether 249 is the world record. Iraq took 249 days to get the outlines of a government agreement last year, but the approval of that government took 40 more days. Still, the way things are going, Belgium will have little problem claiming the record, whichever standard is used.
His wiry hair defense is a lock
A Philadelphia man's wiry hair has helped him beat a robbery rap. The evidence against Timothy Corbett included surveillance footage and an eyewitness account, but his defense was that his stiff hair didn't match the tousled appearance of the man in the video. The Bucks County jury agreed Wednesday, finding him not guilty of charges including robbery and terroristic threats. Defense attorney Louis Busico tugged on his client's hair during closing arguments, telling the jury that if he couldn't move it there was no way Corbett was the man with the mussed locks in the video.
Germany's new motto: kid friendly
Germany is so desperate to encourage people to have more children that the government is proposing a bill allowing citizens under 6 to laugh, shout and play at any volume. Germany is a land of many rules, especially about noise, with regulations that force construction sites to stand idle for hours at midday and prohibit mowing lawns on Sunday. The government's move comes after a series of lawsuits about children and noise, and a recent call from a senior citizens' chapter of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives, who sought to ban kindergartens from residential areas.
statue of limitations
Philly has Rocky, Detroit … RoboCop?
A group that wants to build a statue in Detroit of the fictional crime-fighting cyborg RoboCop says it has raised the $50,000 it needs to move forward. Mayor Dave Bing is skeptical, saying he doesn't "see where we get a lot of value" out of immortalizing the alloy-encased cyborg from the 1987 science fiction flick set in futuristic Detroit. The group, Imagination Station, raised the money from donations after Twitter exploded with comments about the proposed statue 10 days ago.
Compiled from Times wires.