slowly but surely
the first robot marathon is off and running
The world's first robot marathon is under way in western Japan, with five two-legged participants racing on an indoor track. The race kicked off Thursday with the 1-foot-tall, battery-charged robots competing around a 110-yard racetrack. They will have to cover 26 miles. Japanese robotmaker and event organizer Vstone Co. says the "Robo Mara Full" race in Osaka will demonstrate the machines' durability and maneuverability. Vstone robots took an early lead, while two entrants by Osaka University of Engineering teams got off to a shaky start. It's expected to last through Sunday.
clearing the air
Bicycling mayor has bike stolen
Seattle's bicycling mayor has had some explaining to do — to his wife about why her bike got swiped after he borrowed it to ride to work. Seattlepi.com says Mayor Mike McGinn sent a message on Twitter late Wednesday about Peggy Lynch's wheels: "I know I've been encouraging people to ride bikes more, but I didn't mean u could 'borrow' my wife's bike w/o asking." McGinn, a former Sierra Club leader, frequently commutes by bicycle and often rides to events and meetings.
She tracks drug money from jail
Almost as soon as a woman was jailed last year on suspicion of shipping hundreds of pounds of marijuana to Ohio in suitcases, she placed calls to a California accomplice asking about the status of proceeds from the operation, according to an updated version of a Drug Enforcement Administration complaint released Thursday. Lisette Lee made 22 calls from Franklin County Jail in Columbus after she was arrested in June. Most were to fellow defendant Christopher Cash, who repeatedly warned Lee to be careful what she talked about because the calls were being recorded. The complaint says Lee asked several times about paperwork, a term the DEA says is a common expression for drug proceeds. Wisely, Lee, 29, pleaded guilty this month to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana.
family of man
Chechnya's leader seeks wife No. 2
The bullnecked and bearded leader of Russia's predominantly Muslim republic of Chechnya says he is on the hunt for a second wife. Ramzan Kadyrov, 34, who rules Chechnya with an iron fist and imposes Islamic law in the southern province, told the mass market daily Komsomolskaya Pravda that he is "always on the lookout for a decent bride" but has not found the right woman yet. "I can't find a pretty one," he was quoted as saying. Asked how his wife feels about the prospect of sharing her husband, the father of six said: "You see, I don't cheat. So my wife doesn't mind."
Compiled from Times wires.