In Tanzania, a man cut off his genitals in an attempt to win sympathy from friends and relatives after squandering the money they lent him on prostitutes and alcohol.
A German man who taught his dog Adolf to give a Hitler salute by raising his right paw was charged with violating Germany’s anti-Nazi laws.
The Backpacking magazine “Trail” has apologized after its latest issue showed a route that led off a cliff on Britain’s highest mountain. Editor Guy Procter said he was gutted by the error made in production.
Russian troops, divers and others using a modified T72 tank are helping retrieve 10 tons of beer trapped under a frozen Siberian river. In minus 27C, a week-long effort to extract the truck carrying the beer has proved fruitless.
A diamond merchant in India, whose cow swallowed a bag of diamonds, has tried for three days to make it pass dung so that he can recover them. Dilubhai Rajput has so far retrieved 310 of the 1722 diamonds.
A bachelor in China, fed up with giving away money at weddings of relatives and friends, hired a prostitute for a bogus marriage to recoup his losses. The man paid the prostitute $93 to pose as his bride and collected $627 in cash gifts at the ceremony.
LUANDA, ANGOLA—Operators of Keliba Temporary Services of Angola announced Monday that they have been swamped with unemployed citizens seeking temporary mercenary work. “It’s a madhouse,” said Imaculada Bimbi, manager of Keliba Temps. “When we open up in the morning, there is a line of camouflage-clad men waiting at the door.”
When the rebel UNITA [National Union for the Total Independence of Angola] and the Angolan government signed a cease-fire in 2002, they ended the civil war that plagued the southwest African nation for more than 25 years, but left several hundred thousand mercenaries jobless. Around 75 percent of these soldiers-for-hire eventually turned to temping.
“Some call us five or six times a day,” Bimbi said. “Others sit in the waiting room cleaning their rifles and flipping through back issues of Angola Today, just waiting for jobs to come.” Bimbi said that, because Keliba Temps maintains a waiting list and keeps applicants on file for six months, there’s no reason for the men to spend the day in the office. “If the UNITA insurgents were able to locate mercenaries on the planalto, then we should be capable of finding them in their homes,” Bimbi said. “But they sit here and drink pot after pot of complimentary coffee, litter banana peels and dried fish tails on the floors, and wash their bandannas in the bathroom sink.” Bimbi explained the mercenaries’ reluctance to relocate to regions with more favorable employment climates.
“Many have lived in Angola all their lives, and do not want to go all the way to the Congo or Sierra Leone to find work,” Bimbi said. “Now, Angola will always have a need for qualified, experienced mercenaries, and the work they do is very valuable. But we simply have too many workers and not enough jobs.” Last month, Keliba Temps was forced to hire several extra staff members to handle the influx of mercenaries. Although Bimbi considered hiring a mercenary for the front-desk position, none of the applicants had the proper qualifications. “Working the front desk requires communication skills, a professional appearance, patience, and the ability to type,” Bimbi said. “I can’t tell you how many keyboards have been split apart with machetes during our standard typing test.”
Bimbi said early attempts to place mercenaries among the non-mercenary workforce ended in disaster. “My first week here, I sent a mercenary to work on the assembly line in a PVC factory,” Bimbi said. “I later learned that the mercenary had, in his former job, blown up the line supervisor’s vegetable stand and kidnapped his teenage daughter.” Bimbi now attempts to do more thorough background checks. “But it’s hard,” Bimbi said. “Most of our clients’ references turn out to be dead.”
“We held a weekend workshop to train a group of kidnappers, torturers, and renegade pilots on Excel, but the seminar ended in bloodshed.” The mercenary field is so flooded, Lukamba said, that he regularly receives phone calls from employment agencies across the country asking if his branch has openings for mercenaries. “Every time the phone rings, 15 heavily armed men leap to their feet and rush the counter.”
“Perhaps one day soon, a corrupt warlord will rise to power in Angola and need men to hack apart villagers and urinate on the remains,” Lukamba added. “Until then, all I can do is try to get these men working as telephone solicitors.”
A survey has found that 65 per cent of Britons do not know which US city the hit musical Chicago is set in, 57 per cent do not know where the TV soap opera Dallas was set, and 64 per cent do not know where the French Alps are.
Police in Sweden are confident of catching a burglar who used the toilet but forgot to flush. Officers say they recovered a DNA sample from the toilet bowl after $60,000 worth of computers were stolen from a paper plant.
A flight in the US proved lucky for a British woman who had a heart attack. Fifteen heart specialists bound for a medical conference in Florida stood up to offer help when a flight attendant asked: “Is there a doctor on board?”
A Colombian tried to burgle the house of a rich man by hiding inside a box and posting himself to it. But the owners of the house got suspicious when the big package arrived and called the bomb squad.
Zimbabwe’s soccer friendly match with El Salvador in Harare was cancelled after the visitors proved to be fake. The bogus team was a squad of club players put together by a sportswear company.
The car of two Belgian rabbit poachers had been fitted with tyre spikes to slow pursuers, shields on the number plates and a device to eject old bicycles on to the road. Police nabbed them with 14 rabbits.
Northern India police are being paid 30 rupees (65 cents) extra a month to grow a moustache to give them more authority because research has shown they will be taken more seriously.
Doctors in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha have performed an operation on a 54-year-old man who accidentally swallowed a toothbrush. Marijan Saleh was brushing his teeth on Tuesday when the brush accidentally slid down his throat and ended up in his stomach. “He was operated on and the toothbrush removed from the intestines,” said the spokesman from the Selian Hospital in Arusha.
TABORA, TANZANIA—After several hours of fierce feces-slinging from both sides, no clear winner emerged Tuesday in the conflict between Tabora-area male silverback gorillas Lugo and Kamala. “While Lugo looked strong early on, heaving large quantities of his own dung at his opponent, Kamala came back with an equally impressive volley of his own,” primatologist Dr. Donald Schayes said. “We might not have a clear handle on the outcome until mating season.” The animals have tentatively scheduled an additional series of fecal flings over the next three weeks.