Bus 'buffoon' gets jail for bomb hoax
GLASGOW, Scotland, April 14 (UPI) -- A Scottish bus driver who phoned in a bomb hoax the day after the London Transport bombings was sentenced Thursday to 16 months in prison.
Sheriff John Baird, citing the "climate of fear" at the time, said a custodial sentence was appropriate for Thomas Lamb. A day before he phoned in the hoax, 52 people had been killed in London when bombs went off on three underground trains and a bus.
Lamb's call to the First Bus depot in Glasgow led to an evacuation and search. When no bomb was found, investigators began looking for the person who had called in the threat and traced the call to Lamb's cell phone.
He pleaded guilty to a breach of the peace.
"It was a misguided joke," said Lamb's lawyer, Callum Ross. "He can only be described as a buffoon."
N.C. alcohol agency bans gossip
RALEIGH, N.C., April 14 (UPI) -- The North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission has banned its employees from gossiping.
Gene Webb, the general manager, had 64 employees sign a statement saying they would pay attention to their own stores and not get involved in other stores' business, the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer reported.
"If you get a call from someone about something happening in another store, ask that person if the information has something to do with you -- if not, you are not interested," the statement said.
Webb would not say what inspired the anti-gossiping push but did describe it as a problem with one or two people.
He also said he expects employees to report gossipers.
Women turn from romance to crime
LONDON, April 14 (UPI) -- A survey finds British women have turned from romantic novels to thrillers and crime fiction.
But one romantic classic still rules, The Telegraph reported. In the "if you had only one book on desert island" category, Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" gets the most votes. Its heroine, Elizabeth Bennett, is the woman most readers would like to be, and Mr. Darcy was tops in the most romantic hero category.
The poll of 1,500 women aged 35 to 59 for Woman & Home magazine found that many women prefer reading to most alternate activities, including sex. Thrillers, contemporary novels and crime were the most popular categories, and only 40 percent want happy endings.
While romance writer Maeve Binchy was most frequently mentioned as a favorite author, overall mystery and thriller writers such as P.D. James, Patricia Cornwell and Ian Rankin predominated the list.
When it comes to romantic heroes generally, women prefer the classics. Other favorites on the list were Heathcliff from "Wuthering Heights," Rhett Butler of "Gone With The Wind" and Mr. Rochester of "Jane Eyre."
James Bond was the only favorite from a book set in the 20th century.
Scarlett O'Hara was voted most glamorous heroine.
Agents block stolen overseas shipments
LOS ANGELES, April 14 (UPI) -- Recovery of a classic motorcycle made it twice this year that the Department of Homeland Security blocked overseas passage of stolen gems at Los Angeles.
The Yamaha motorcycle, swiped 34 1/2 years ago off a Long Beach street, was returned to its surprised and delighted owner, an airline plot who often flew one of the planes that hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
It was headed for Lahti, Finland, to a man who purchased it there on EBay, The Los Angeles Times said.
The recovery mirrored that of a stolen, pristine 1968 Corvette, which federal agents returned to its owner in January.
The $18,000 sports car was taken from a New York City garage in 1969 and found in a steel shipping container headed to a car buff in Stockholm.
Through the end of 2005, agents at the Port of Los Angeles say they had seized 221 outward-bound vehicles -- mostly luxury SUVs -- worth a total of $4.7 million.