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News Quirks (3/18/15)


Published March 18, 2015 at 10:00 a.m.

Curses, Foiled Again

Rocco Tumbarello, 41, stole stuff from a home in West Boynton, Fla., authorities there said, but he didn't get far. He lives across the street. The victim came home to find his 42-inch TV and his mother's laptop gone, the sheriff's report said, and spotted his neighbor "running across the street with his television in his hands." (South Florida Sun Sentinel)

The civil marriage of Zubair Khan, 48, and Beata Szilagyi, 33, was exposed as a ruse to skirt British immigration laws when Khan couldn't remember Szilagyi's name. He delayed the ceremony to call his marriage broker for the name. The suspicious registrar called authorities, who arrested bride and groom for what Home Office immigration official Andy Sharpe called "a farcical, but nonetheless serious, attempt." (New York Daily News)

Nothing to Fear Here

The month after an inebriated government employee crashed a small drone on the White House lawn, the Secret Service announced plans to test its own "unmanned aircraft systems" to help protect the White House from drone attacks and other incursions. "I don't think we're talking about a battle of drones in the skies," Michael Drobac, executive director of the pro-drone Small UAV Coalition, said. "This isn't 'Battlestar Galactica' gone drone. I think this is simply an ability to monitor. I'm confident they're not intending to use weaponized drones." (Washington Times)

It Happens

Human waste left by climbers on Mount Everest is causing pollution and threatening to spread disease, according to the head of Nepal's mountaineering association. Ang Tshering told reporters that more than 700 foreign climbers and guides spend two months climbing the world's tallest peak during the brief climbing season, leaving feces and urine at four camps where they stay to acclimate themselves to the altitude. "Climbers usually dig holes in the snow for their toilet use and leave the human waste there," Tshering said, adding the waste has been "piling up" for years. (Associated Press)

Hot Pockets

Erik Johnson spent 10 days in a hospital burn unit in Lindenhurst, N.Y., recovering from second- and third-degree burns after his iPhone exploded in his pocket. "I bent over to get keys, and all I heard was a 'pop' and after a little 'ssshh,' smoke coming out and just like an instant burn," Johnson said. "My leg just starts going on fire, try to get it out, can't get it out. I was literally jumping up and down to get the phone out of my pocket, but I had dress pants on. I think the phone melted my pockets shut so I couldn't get into it, and I had to rip my pants off. A couple of people actually said they could smell my body burning." Apple said it is looking into the case. (CNN)

Familiarity Breeds Attempt

Christopher Miller, 41, served 15 years in prison for robbing three businesses, including a Stride Rite shoe store in Toms River, N.J. The day after he was paroled, he returned to the same Stride Rite store and robbed the same clerk, who had been notified of Miller's release. Miller pleaded guilty and faces 10 to 20 years in prison. (

Pharmaceutical Follies

Mary McKaig, 54, asked a Florida court to void her online bid of $100,500 for a foreclosed home because she was under the influence of "judgment-altering" prescription diet pills. After her bid was accepted, McKaig discovered the property has more than $400,000 of debt. "The diet pill seems like a convenient excuse for not doing their research before bidding," said Lloyd McClendon, CEO of, which handled the transaction. (ABC News)

Nut-Job Update

Cho Hyn-ah, the former Korean Air vice president who ordered a plane back to its gate after a first-class flight attendant served her macadamia nuts in an unopened package instead of on a plate, received a year in prison for violating aviation safety law. Park Chang-jin, the steward who was removed from the plane, said that Cho, one of South Korea's wealthiest women, forced him and the junior attendant to apologize on their knees, "like slaves in a medieval era." (New York Times)

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