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Dec. 11, 2008 at 6:00 AM
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Firefighters called to rescue plastic owl

RAYLEIGH, England, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- An animal protection officer and the fire brigade called out to rescue an owl in Rayleigh, England, only to learn the owl was a fake.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said an officer was sent to the scene after a mailman reported seeing an owl on a telephone pole that hadn't moved for days, the Daily Mail reported Wednesday.

The officer observed the owl for hours and eventually called the fire brigade to mount a rescue. It was not until firefighters were preparing to deploy aerial platforms that residents informed the rescuers that the owl was a plastic decoy put in place by a telecommunications firm to scare off smaller birds.

"It is not the first time we have been called to rescue an animal that isn't real but we'd rather be safe than sorry," society spokeswoman Klare Kennett said.

YouTube police impersonator arrested

GASTONIA, N.C., Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Police in Gaston County, N.C., say they arrested a man accused of putting footage of himself impersonating a police officer on YouTube.

Sgt. Chris Reynolds said investigators identified David Christopher Moss from his YouTube video and arrested him on a charge of impersonating a police officer, The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer reported Wednesday.

"I don't know if these are people who were having problems on the street," Reynolds said. "He approached them, somebody was videoing for him, and he asked them to leave the street area. He represented himself twice" as a police officer.

Moss, whose YouTube channel also includes videos titled "Hot Girls Kissing," "Irish Guy Gets Drunk" and "Prostitute Wants a Ride," was released from Gaston jail on $2,500 unsecured bond.

Santa gives out $100 bills to strangers

KANSAS CITY, Kan., Dec. 10 (UPI) -- A Secret Santa in Kansas is passing $100 bills to strangers on the street with only one catch -- they have to promise to pay if forward.

The man dressed as Santa Claus and helpers dressed as elves handed out $100 bills Tuesday in Kansas City, Kan., to people at the Salvation Army Thrift Store, the Turner House Clinic for Children and the courthouse annex on State Avenue, KMBC-TV in Kansas City, Mo., reported Wednesday.

"Are you going to promise me? Are you going to pass it on?" Santa was quoted as asking an employee at the thrift store.

In addition to the free money, Santa and his helpers handed out cards inviting people to share stories about helping out during the holiday season at

Survey: Young flirt via text, Internet

CHICAGO, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- A Chicago-based research firm said its survey suggests about 20 percent of young U.S. adults have sent suggestive photos online or by cell phone.

Teenage Research Unlimited -- which conducted the online survey of 1,280 teens and young adults from Sept. 25 to Oct. 3 on commission from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy the Hearst Digital Media site -- found 20 percent of those between the ages of 20 and 26 sent naked or semi-naked pictures with e-mail or their cell phones to be "fun or flirtatious," USA Today reported Wednesday.

The survey also found 39 percent of teens surveyed and 59 percent in the 20-26 age group have sent suggestive text messages as a mode of flirtation.

A majority of 73 percent of total respondents said they understand that sending sexually explicit or suggestive materials over digital media "can have serious negative consequences" while 22 percent said they consider it to be "no big deal."

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