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Goats in stew

Claude Nyamugabo, the deputy justice minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, has ordered a jail in Kinshasa to release a dozen goats. The reprieve came just in time, as the goats were on their way to appear in court, reports the BBC, on charges that they were sold illegally on the roadside. How that was their fault was not immediately clear to anyone, but mostly to Nyamugabo. He said that the police involved would be sent for retraining. And while the goats were released on their own recognizance, the goats' owners were still being held.

Cop's boss can't ignore brief dance

If you were the police minister of New South Wales, Australia, this is the phone call you would have to hate to get from your boss: "There are too many reports of you in your underwear for me to ignore." But that is what Premier Nathan Rees said in demanding Matt Brown's resignation. Brown was accused of punctuating a drunken office party with a partially clad techno dance that may or may not have happened within the personal space of a female member of Parliament. Brown at first denied everything, but later admitted to the dance. He maintains that Wollongong MP Noreen Hay was not involved, though.

Community service

Dirty bathrooms face citizen-janitor

Steve Oswald of Saugatuck, Mich., was sickened by the sad state of the public rest rooms in his otherwise tourist-friendly city. So he asked the city to clean them. And when it didn't happen fast enough, he cleaned them. "I spent 45 minutes cleaning the bathrooms," Oswald told WZZM-TV. Then he sent the mayor a bill for $156. "It's a matter of principle." And, apparently, $156. City officials admit that the bathrooms needed cleaning, and are grateful to Oswald, but have not paid the bill, since the random act of cleanliness was unauthorized. They told the TV station that if they paid it, it could set an unwanted precedent.


British propose magic to teach kids

Earlier this week, we brought you reports that a British professor thought that teaching spelling was a waste of time. So, if they stopped, what would they teach instead? A British psychologist is now suggesting that kids be taught magic. Richard Wiseman told the Daily Mirror that conjuring boosts children's self-confidence and social skills. "And unlike computer games it encourages children to interact with their friends and family." Researchers tried out his theory by sending 50 children to magic school. After two weeks, the students scored higher in confidence and social skills than counterparts in traditional classes. "We would like to roll this out nationally. The success of Harry Potter means it's fun going to magic lessons.''

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at


"Joe Biden put his foot in his mouth. He told a crowd that Hillary is as qualified or more qualified than he is. Plus she still has her original hair."

Jay Leno, host of The Tonight Show