UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

Aug. 3, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Tourist foils mugger with taekwondo

ROME, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Police in Rome say an attempted mugger thanked officers for rescuing him from his alleged victims -- a group of South Korean tourists skilled in taekwondo.

Authorities said the 48-year-old Italian man, whose name was not released, grabbed a handbag from one of the tourists Sunday at the ancient Roman Theater of Marcellus and brandished a knife, the Italian news agency ANSA reported Monday.

However, one South Korean disarmed the attacker using taekwondo techniques and used the martial art to keep the suspect from escaping until police arrived.

"Thank you, I was being massacred," police quoted the attacker as saying during his arrest.

Officers said the man seemed "almost grateful" to be taken to jail.


Bikini record attempt falls 1,882 short

SOUTHEND-ON-SEA, England, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Organizers of a British attempt at a world record for the most bikini-clad women photographed in one place say their bid failed when a paltry 42 women came out.

Debbie Reynolds, 23, said the turnout at the Southend-on-Sea, England, beach was far less than the 1,924 women needed to break the world record, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

"It was sunny and everything, so we thought we'd get a good turnout, but it was very sad when we realized that 42 was the grand total," she said. "It's pretty rubbish I must admit. We really need to try harder. It made me feel pretty embarrassed to be British when we can't even mount a decent challenge."

Organizers blamed the low turnout on initial forecasts for poor weather.


Town puts stop to senior gambling

BALDWINSVILLE, N.Y., Aug. 3 (UPI) -- The mayor of a New York town says he has put an end to low stakes gambling at a senior center in the village.

Baldwinsville Mayor Joe Saraceni said seniors will no longer be allowed to play card games for money at the village-owned Canton Woods Senior Center, despite the fact that gambling for low stakes does not break any laws, The (Syracuse, N.Y.) Post-Standard reported Monday.

Regulars at the center said games were usually played for change

"But it clearly states in Canton Woods policy that gambling isn't a permissible activity," Saraceni said. "We received a complaint that gambling was going on. It was nothing alarming as far as how much money was being bet, just that it was widespread as to the number of activities where gambling was taking place."

Many players said they are baffled by the controversy.

"I like to play cards, whether it's for money or not," James Clark said. "I just don't understand why this is an issue. It's really ridiculous."


Man cited while helping geese

FAIRFAX, Va., Aug. 3 (UPI) -- A Virginia man says he is fighting a jaywalking ticket he was issued while helping a family of Canada geese cross a busy street.

Jozsef Vamosi, 60, of Fairfax said he was given the ticket June 18 at about 9:30 a.m. when he pulled over on the Fairfax County Parkway to protect the geese attempting to cross the busy road, The Washington Post reported Monday.

Vamosi said the geese had just finished their trek across the street when a police officer arrived.

"He jumped out the car, yelling at me," Vamosi said of officer Kevin Rusin.

He said he plans to go to General District Court to fight the jaywalking citation Rusin gave him.

"And if I had the chance, I'd do it again," Vamosi said of helping the geese. "That's the way I'm raised."

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