90 Miles From Tyranny : 10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (6/22/19)

Saturday, June 22, 2019

10 Offbeat Stories You Might Have Missed This Week (6/22/19)

Keeping up with all the news in the world can be a difficult task. That’s why we are here to help with a few weekly lists that look at notable events that occurred recently. Click here if you missed out on last week’s list.

We have an abundance of unique stories this week. There’s a love story that set sparks flying. A four-year-old takes the family car for a joyride. There’s an island that wants to give up time. Scientists taught seals to sing, and the Italian “Bonnie and Clyde” are finally behind bars.

10Paws-itively Political

Photo credit: AFP
A politician from Pakistan livestreamed a press conference where he unwittingly donned pink kitty ears and whiskers because a member of his staff accidentally turned on the “cat filter.”Regional minister Shaukat Yousafzai from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Party held a Q&A with journalists last Friday which could be seen live on social media. At first, this sounded relatively mundane. However, viewers soon spotted that the minister, as well as various other accompanying officials, were wearing cat ears and whiskers.Yousafzai later confirmed that his bizarre appearance was due to someone turning on Facebook’s “augmented reality (AR) filter” by mistake. This is a function that can detect and track a human face, even during live video, and apply various comical accoutrements.The PTI deleted the online recording minutes after the press conference ended and later attributed the gaffe to “human error.” Yousafzai downplayed the event, saying that we should “not take everything so seriously.”[1] At the same time, he tried to divert some of the attention onto the other officials in the video, saying that he wasn’t the only one “hit by the cat filter.”

9The Dragon Beats The Mountain

Photo credit: Martins Licis/Instagram
“The Mountain” has been toppled following last weekend’s World’s Strongest Man (WSM) competition. Hafthor Bjornsson, best known for playing Gregor Clegane on Game of Thrones, came in third place as Latvian-born American Martins “The Dragon” Licis is the new strongest man in the world.The 2019 edition of the WSM competition took place in Bradenton, Florida. Bjornsson hoped to become back-to-back champion following his first title, which he won last year in Manila, Philippines. However, he suffered a torn plantar fascia on the first day of competition, which limited his speed and mobility. His bronze medal still earned him a top-three finish for the eighth straight year.The final day of this year’s contest took place on Anna Maria Island, where 28-year-old Licis completed the infamous Atlas stones challenge in less than 28 seconds to claim his first-ever podium finish and the title as world’s strongest man.[2]

8Taking Down Bonnie And Clyde

Photo credit: The Telegraph
A couple of fraudsters dubbed the “Italian Bonnie and Clyde” were apprehended in Thailand following years on the run thanks to a joint operation between Interpol and the Royal Thai Police.Francesco Galdelli and his wife, Vanya Goffi, made headlines years back when they were accused of using George Clooney’s name and image to create a bogus fashion line. In 2010, the actor even took the stand in Italy and testified that the two had forged his signature and impersonated him. This was just one of the multiple scams that the couples ran, which also included selling fake Rolexes online and sending their buyers packets of salt instead. The duo was finally convicted in 2014, but they went on the run in Thailand. Galdelli was apprehended abroad soon after, but he escaped a day later after bribing the prison guards. The couple managed to elude authorities until last Saturday, when they were finally apprehended in a luxury villa in the Thai resort city of Pattaya.[3]

7Need For Chocolate

Photo credit: KMSP-TV
On Wednesday morning, a four-year-old from Blaine, Minnesota, with a hankering for some candy stole the keys to his great-grandpa’s SUV and took the car for a joyride to the nearest convenience store.Sebastian Swenson might barely be able to see over the steering wheel, but that did not deter him from climbing into the driver’s seat of his great-grandfather’s Hyundai Santa Fe and driving 2.4 kilometers (1.5 mi) to fix his sugar craving.According to witnesses, the vehicle was moving erratically at speeds of up to 24 kilometers per hour (15 mph).[4] Police officers were on the scene as soon as it came to a stop. The SUV had hit a few mailboxes and a tree, and the bumper got left behind in a neighbor’s garden, but nobody was injured.Blaine Police Captain Mark Boerboom said he had never heard of someone so young being able to drive a car. Sebastian’s family promised that, from now on, they will lock up the car keys to keep them away from the unruly youngster.

6Semper Ad Meliora

A long-running Finnish weekly broadcast in Latin aired its final bulletin last Friday evening after 30 years on the air.Yle, short for Yleisradio Oy (General Radio), is Finland’s national public broadcasting company, founded in 1926. Outside of the country, Yle is best known for Nuntii Latini, a five-minute weekly news broadcast in Latin. It first aired on September 1, 1989, as the brainchild of journalist Hannu Taanila and Latin professor Tuomo Pekkanen. It was a surprise hit, and the rise of the Internet attracted thousands of new Latin enthusiasts from around the world.The team behind Nuntii Latini first announced plans to end the program back in late 2017.[5] The main reason cited was the online availability of other Latin-based media. However, thousands of callers and a public campaign to save the broadcast prompted its creators to push back the shutdown to last week.

5An Australian Amorous Avian Adventure

A recent power outage in Australia was caused by two kookaburras which began mating on a power line and caused sparks to fly . . . literally.Last week, about 1,000 homes in the suburbs of Perth lost power. According to Western Power, the cause of the outage was an “amorous avian adventure” between two of the country’s most famous feathered residents, known for their distinctive call.An eyewitness said that he saw the birds on a pole when, suddenly...

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