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Jan. 24, 2012 at 6:00 AM
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Indian official swears off shoelaces

BHOPAL, India, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- An Indian official accused of having a tribal boy tie his shoelaces said he will no longer wear shoes requiring laces.

Madhya Pradesh Cooperative Minister Gauri Shankar Bisen, who was sharply criticized by other politicians after the boy was seen tying his shoes in a televised incident, said he was unable to tie his own shoes at the Khamra function Friday due to a recent bypass surgery, the Press Trust of India reported Monday.

"I swear that from now onwards, I will not wear any shoes with laces. I have specially brought from Pune six pairs of shoes without laces," Bisen said Sunday.

The official said the teenager who tied his shoes was not a tribal boy, as his critics allege, but rather an 18-year-old son of a family friend, The Times of India reported.

"Rajeev and Rahul are the sons of Ravi Shankar, a close family friend. The boys came with me to attend the function in Chhindwara. I was sitting on the dais with my shoelaces untied. The boys noticed it and one of them rushed to me and tied the laces,'' Bisen said. "The boy knew that I have had a bypass surgery recently and another hernia operation. Doctors have advised me not to bend down too much."

Stalin death mask up for auction

LONDON, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Bronze casts of Joseph Stalin's face and hands at the time of his death could fetch $4,600 to $7,700 at auction, a British auction house said.

Mullock's auction house said the bronze casts are among 12 copies from the original plaster cast made when the Soviet dictator died in 1952, but Richard Westwood-Brooks, the business' historical documents expert, said he believes there are only nine, RIA Novosti reported Monday.

"It is the closest you could come to having Stalin in your living room," Westwood-Brooks said.

Bonnie and Clyde's guns auctioned in Mo.

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Jan. 24 (UPI) -- A Missouri auction house said an online bidder won a .45-caliber Thompson submachine gun and a 12-gauge shotgun believed to have belonged to Bonnie and Clyde.

Robert Mayo of Mayo Auction & Realty in Kansas City said the anonymous buyer bid $130,000 for the Tommy gun and $80,000 for the 1897 12-gauge Winchester shotgun said to have belonged to the 1930s gangster couple, the Kansas City (Mo.) Star reported Monday.

Mayo said the guns were believed to have been left behind when the bank robbing duo of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow had a shootout with police at their Joplin, Mo., hideout.

"This is a piece of history," Mayo said of the guns.

Hash found in Israeli prison-bound bread

KFAR SABA, Israel, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Israeli authorities said the driver of a truck delivering bread to a prison was arrested after 6 ounces of hashish was found stashed inside a loaf.

Investigators said the 56-year-old driver, whose name was not released, was arrested Thursday by Kfar Saba Police when the drug was found stuffed into a loaf of bread that arrived at HaSharon Prison, Ynetnews reported Monday.

The driver told police he was not responsible for loading the truck and did not know anything about the hashish.

"We always come across different smuggling methods of drugs, weapons and cellular devices -- some are carried out through civilian drivers who bring supplies to the prison," said Lt. Col. Natan Paz, an Israeli Prison Service commander.

"We must not generalize, but some drivers have been involved in such acts. It's usually those drivers who have been persuaded by the prisoners to do the smuggling. We always need to be on the lookout."

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