Weekly Wire
Weekly Alibi Odds & Ends

By Devin D. O'Leary

OCTOBER 6, 1997: 

Dateline: Australia--Rescue workers from Australia's Thredbo landslide disaster who were attending a government awards banquet fell ill to suspected food poisoning. Dozens, perhaps hundreds of people who attended last Sunday's buffet luncheon to honor the rescue workers became sick after the ceremony, according to State Emergency Services director-general Hori Howard. Symptoms included diarrhea and stomach cramps. The rescuers had spent three days nonstop in late July digging through the debris of two flattened ski lodges searching for survivors.

Dateline: Netherlands--Workers unloading a 75-million-year-old dinosaur skeleton for a museum in The Hague dropped the precious fossil, shattering it into 188 pieces. Scientists at the Museon museum, which is staging a dinosaur exhibit to mark the Dutch premiere of Steven Spielberg's film The Lost World, reportedly cried.

Dateline: New Zealand--Last year, a charity auction in the town of Blenheim on New Zealand's South Island offered a vasectomy. This year, charity-minded shoppers can bid on a divorce. The divorce, which is worth between $250 and $325 in U.S. currency, must be used by the year 1999 and confidentiality of the purchaser is assured.

Dateline: Egypt--A man accused of fire bombing a tourist bus outside a Cairo museum, killing 10 people, didn't exactly help his case last Thursday. Saber Abu el-Ulla, an escapee from a Cairo mental hospital, returned to the scene of his alleged crime with prosecutors. When asked to demonstrate how he and his brother had attacked the tour bus, el-Ulla enthusiastically complied, re-enacting the entire attack and happily quipping: "I have always wanted to be an actor."

Dateline: Virginia--A nine-year-old was suspended from his Manassas, Va., elementary school for giving a Certs breath mint to a classmate and saying it would make him "jump higher." The second boy's parents complained to school officials.

Dateline: Pennsylvania--Francis Glancy of Pittsburgh, Pa., had his license revoked after a drunk driving charge. Only problem: The 41-year-old Glancy doesn't have a license; he was arrested last month for riding his 10-speed bicycle while drunk. Authorities have ordered him to get one so it can be suspended. If he fails to comply, Glancy could incur a criminal record.

Dateline: Montana--Steven Seagal's new film is drawing some interesting protests. Seagal is currently shooting The Patriot in Ennis, Mont. In the script for The Patriot, a militia group steals a deadly biochemical toxin and unleashes it on an unsuspecting American populace. Montana militia members, apparently outraged over such a wildly inaccurate and negative portrayal of militias, have called the film's production offices with numerous death threats.

--Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary


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