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UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

Jan. 18, 2013 at 4:58 PM   |   Comments

Man accused of speeding 94 times cleared

ROUEN, France, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- A French judge has acquitted a man allegedly photographed speeding 94 times, after finding prosecutors could not prove the man was driving at the time.

Prosecutors said the 40-year-old Rouen man, whose name was not released, was allegedly caught by speed cameras driving 112 mph on 43 mph roads and one of the cameras captured the car traveling 155 mph, The Local.fr reported Friday.

President of Versaille Criminal Court Francoise Dufour threw out the charge of endangering people's lives because the 94 speed camera photos from 2011 and 2012 failed to show the man's face.

Lawyer Adrien Weil applauded the decision.

"Legally this decision is absolutely correct because there are no photographs and no witness testimonies to prove my client was driving the vehicle," Weil said.

"The car was used for both company and private use and this is the problem with speed cameras," he said. "Notice of the violation is sent out to the owner of a vehicle a little like a bottle in the sea and then they must find out who committed the offense."


DeLorean hovercraft seen in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- A hovercraft built to resemble the DeLorean sports car from the film "Back to the Future" wowed onlookers on the water near San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

Matthew Riese said he constructed the hovercraft from a kit, building the body from scratch instead of finding an original DeLorean.

He has taken the craft, which is registered as a boat, to several Bay Area sites, including the waters near Emeryville, Calif., McCovey Cove near the San Francisco Giants' baseball stadium, and the Golden Gate Bridge on Jan. 12.

The hovercraft reaches 45 mph, not the 88 mph required for time travel in the movie, the San Francisco Chronicle noted.


Man spent 15 years in 16.7 sq.-foot apt.

PARIS, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- A French housing charity said it was "scandalous" that a man lived for 15 years in a 16.7 square-foot Paris apartment.

Samuel Mouchard of the housing charity Fondation Abbe Pierre said the man, identified only as Dominique, 50, paid $439 per month to stay in the tiny apartment, The Local.fr reported Friday.

"It is scandalous," Mouchard said.

Mouchard said tiny apartments are becoming an increasing problem in the Paris.

"Landlords are profiting from the housing crisis in Paris," Mouchard said. "Many people don't have a choice but to accept to live in these tiny apartments because they fear being out on the street."

Mouchard said the landlords are flouting laws requiring apartments to have at least 96.8 square feet of livable space.

"Some landlords are unscrupulous. The law is there but it needs to be enforced," he said. "Tenants need to know that it's forbidden. If they have doubts they can go to their local Town Hall where measures can be taken to protect them or to rehouse them."


Woman told she's too young for job

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- A Swedish woman who was denied a receptionist job for being too young was awarded a $7,700 settlement from the Equality Ombudsman.

The 20-year-old woman told the ombudsman she applied for a job as receptionist at a guest house and handed in a resume detailing her experience in similar jobs and education in the hotels and tourism field, The Local.se reported Friday.

"Thank you for your application, but unfortunately we're looking for someone older," the guest house management told the woman.

The business said it has a policy of not hiring anyone under age 22.

"According to the discrimination laws, every prospective employee has the right to be judged on their merits when seeking work," ombudsman Agneta Broberg said. "In this case, it didn't happen as the woman concerned was deemed to be too young."

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