Burn No. 27
Giant straw Christmas goat torched again
Vandals in Sweden have burned down for the 27th time a giant straw goat meant to symbolize the Christmas spirit. The 43-foot-high straw goat was engulfed in flames early Saturday in the Swedish town of Gavle, 90 miles north of Stockholm. The straw goat is a centuries-old Scandinavian yule symbol that preceded Santa Claus as the bringer of gifts. Since 1966, when the tradition of erecting the goat in the town square was introduced, it's been repeatedly set afire.
Las Vegas driver finds stash in seat
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports cabdriver Gerardo Gamboa was making a pickup Monday at the Bellagio when a hotel doorman noticed a brown paper bag in the back seat and handed it to him. At a red light, the Checker Cab driver's curiosity got the best of him. To his surprise, he found six bundles of $100 bills totaling $300,000. Gamboa called his dispatcher and took the money to a company office. Las Vegas police and casino officials were able to link the money to a well-known poker player. It is unknown whether Gamboa has gotten a big Christmas tip.
'Topless' protest falls flat on beach
A much-hyped protest for the right to go topless on Rio de Janeiro's beaches fell flat Saturday when only a handful of women bared their chests for the movement. More than 100 photojournalists stampeded across the golden sands of Ipanema beach when the first woman took off her bikini top to flout Brazilian law. Just three or four other women joined in. "A breast isn't dangerous!" declared Olga Salon, a 73-year-old Rio native, as she stripped off her tank top.
Port Orange gift at bank no joke
Dressed in a Santa Claus hat, beard and white gloves, a naughty robber placed a wrapped gift on a SunTrust Bank counter on Monday and told tellers, "This is not a joke." He handed over a note demanding cash and advising that his gift contained an explosive device. After being given cash, the Santa impersonator made his getaway in a dark-colored vehicle instead of a sleigh. The Volusia County Sheriff's Office bomb squad determined he lied about the gift. Bad Santa is on the loose.
Sleigh in Poland takes a tumble
A Santa and his helper could face drunken driving charges, say police in Poland. Witnesses said the 51-year-old Santa and his 31-year-old female helper were visibly drunk as they rode a horse-drawn sleigh on a busy street in Ustrzykach Dolnych. A car horn spooked their horse, the British newspaper the Mirror reported Monday. "It reared up and sent them smashing into the wall on the corner of the street," said witness Zdzislaw Molodynski. "It was a mixture of 'Ho, ho, ho' and 'No, no, no,' " The naughty sleigh riders went to a local hospital with concussions.
Compiled from wire services and other sources.