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NO 2 DONKEYS HAVE THE SAME ZEBRA STRIPES

ZOO ROPE-A-DOPE

The Marah Land zoo in Gaza City did not have any zebras. But they did have white donkeys, which is pretty cool. And, wait, they have masking tape. And black hair dye. And a really bad idea. The only way to get a real zebra to the zoo would have been to have it smuggled through Egypt. "It would have cost me $40,000," said zoo owner Mohammed Bargouthi. The zoo's initial attempt was with paint. "It didn't look good," Nidal Bargouthi told the Los Angeles Times. But the dye has been a hit. "The children don't know, so they call them zebras and they are happy to see something new."

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JAIL BREAKING NEWS

Newspaper can't get man out of jail

Prison officials at the Columbia Correctional Institution in Madison, Wis., say that inmate James Frederick, 49, made a daring escape attempt armed only with newspaper and a bag of raisins. He had stuffed his clothes full of the newspaper in an effort to protect himself as he went over the razor-wire fence. But he cut himself anyway, fell, and was caught and thrown in solitary. There is no report on what he planned to do with the raisins. Unless they were a snack for later, maybe?

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PROTECT AND SERVE

Woman saved from playing with dog

A woman in La Marque, Texas, was playing with her pit bull. Apparently, the playing became very loud because it caught the attention of a police officer in the neighborhood. The officer saw the dog, saw the screaming woman, and started shooting. She hit the dog, and a bullet deflected and also hit the woman. The dog, named Sugar, was taken to the vet and is expected to recover. The woman, who was not identified, was taken by helicopter to the hospital, then treated and released, according to KPRC-TV. A witness says the officer's reaction was not unreasonable. "I can't say that I would do anything different," Dennis Wallace told the station. "The (officer) drew down and started shooting. I couldn't say I wouldn't have done that."

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UPDATE

Chia is a no-go

The on-again, off-again availability of the Barack Obama Chia head is off again. According to the Chicago Tribune, CVS stores were going to start carrying the presidentially shaped terra cotta moss medium, after Walgreens stopped selling them because of concerns of racial insensitivity. Chia owner Joe Pedott says the item is popular, and he doesn't understand the decision. He presented one to Obama in May. "If the consumer wants it, what's the problem?" he said. "You're giving him an Afro. If you don't want it, cut it off. He had an Afro when he was younger."

Compiled from Times wire services and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster, who can be reached at jwebster@sptimes.com.

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