UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

June 7, 2012 at 5:00 PM
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Obama gives props to wife's pushup prowess

LOS ANGELES, June 7 (UPI) -- President Obama conceded to some personal shortcomings in the physical fitness arena during a fundraiser in Los Angeles Wednesday evening.

Speaking to more than 600 supporters from the gay community, Obama said he was put to shame during a recent pushup session in Hawaii with a cadre of U.S. Marines and added that his wife, Michelle, was no slouch at pushups either.

"Michelle outdoes me in pushups as well," Obama said, recounting the first lady's appearance on the "Ellen DeGeneres Show" in which she knocked out 25.

The president got a laugh out of the audience when he added his other half had taken some ribbing about her technique "because she doesn't go down all the way."

Year's first herring vat sells for $119K

SCHEVENINGEN, Netherlands, June 7 (UPI) -- The first vat of 2012 herring in the Netherlands was sold for a record $119,386 to benefit the Youth Sports Fund.

The Dutch Fish Bureau said the traditional auction, held in Scheveningen, was won this year by temporary employment agency Start People and the winning bid of $119,386 beat the record of $87,969 set in 2006, Radio Netherlands Worldwide reported Thursday.

Pot growing up, moonshine down in Sweden

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, June 7 (UPI) -- Stockholm police said they have noticed a spike in the popularity of home-based marijuana farming while alcohol bootlegging has decreased.

Jonas Wendel of the Stockholm police's narcotics unit told the Metro newspaper police have seen such an increase in marijuana growing that investigators believe the majority of cannabis being sold and smoked in the country came from Sweden, The Local.se reported Thursday.

"A few years ago, we've found a few plants in closets and stuff like that, but now it's not unusual for people to erect growing tents with hundreds of plants," Wendel said.

Experts said police have also noticed alcohol home-brewing is on the decline.

"In the beginning of the 2000s home distilleries accounted for 3 percent of alcohol consumption in the country, while it now accounts for 1 percent," said Bjorn Trolldal of the substance abuse prevision group Stockholm Prevents Alcohol and Drug Problems.

Italy court: Workers choose honeymoon date

ROME, June 7 (UPI) -- An Italian court ruled workers may choose the dates of their honeymoons and they can't be fired for not taking the time off directly after their weddings.

The Cassation Court, which sets precedents, made the ruling in turning down an appeal filed by a Naples-based aeronautical firm that fired a worker for taking time off for a honeymoon 10 days after the wedding, the Italian news agency ANSA reported Thursday.

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