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Sept. 6, 2012 at 6:00 AM
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N.Y. congresswoman flubs slavery history

WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., messed up on "The Colbert Report" TV show, saying -- incorrectly -- the Dutch had slaves in Brooklyn in 1898.

The Comedy Central faux news TV show's host, Stephen Colbert, inadvertently ensnarled Clarke in a historical faux pas during an interview in her Washington office that aired Tuesday night.

During an exchange about Brooklynites having voted in 1898 to become part of New York City -- which Colbert quipped was tagged "the Great Mistake of 1898" -- the host asked Clarke what she would tell the people of Brooklyn if she could use a time machine to go back to that period.

Clarke, an African-American in her third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, responded with a perky "I would say to them: Set me free!"

"From?" Colbert asked.

"Slavery," she replied.

"I didn't realize there was slavery in Brooklyn in 1898," Colbert said.

"Well, I'm pretty sure there was," Clarke said.

"That sounds like a horrible part of the United States that kept slavery going until 1898," Colbert said. "Who would be enslaving you in 1898 in New York?"

"The Dutch," Clarke said.

"Those sneaky Dutch bastards," Colbert rejoined.

"Exactly," Clarke said.

Clarke's official Web site still had a link to the "Colbert Report" clips as of Wednesday evening.

For the record, slavery ended in the state of New York in 1827 and the 13th Amendment outlawed slavery nationwide in 1865 after the Civil War. The Dutch lost their hold in New York in the 17th century.

McDonald's apologizes for Hmong faux pas

ST. PAUL, Minn., Sept. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. fast-food purveyor McDonald's has apologized for its awkward Hmong language wording on two billboards hawking its breakfast menu in St. Paul, Minn.

"While it was our intention to create a special message for our Hmong population in Minnesota, we now realize that an error was made in the translation of 'Coffee Gets You Up, Breakfast Gets You Going,'" Gregg Miskiel, marketing director of McDonald's Midwest region, said in a statement.

"It was not our intention to offend anyone and we apologize for the error. We are working with our local advertising agency to correct these billboards and will re-post next week."

The billboards erected last week were believed to be the first time McDonald's had ever used the Hmong language to reach out to its customers. But the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Hmong speakers said the translation butchered their language, fusing words together and using improper syntax.

The St. Paul area is home to more than 64,000 people of Hmong descent, the largest concentration in the United States.

Football coach brings tiger to practice

SEATTLE, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- The University of Washington football coach had a live tiger brought to practice to give players a taste of what they face against Louisiana State University.

Steve Sarkisian said he prepared his players to face LSU, which has a mascot named Mike the Tiger, by bringing a live tiger to practice at the Seattle school, The Seattle Times reported Wednesday.

The school said LSU stations Mike the Tiger near the opponents' locker room and players have to run past his cage on their way to the field.

"I was like, 'Oh, a Tiger? Why do we have a Tiger here?'" freshman linebacker Travis Feeney said. "It was kind of scary at first.''

The coach told his players that getting used to having a tiger nearby the field will keep them from getting distracted during this weekend's game.

Girl rewarded for returning purse

SCARBOROUGH, Maine, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- A Maine girl who found a purse containing more than $4,000 and turned it in to find its owner was rewarded with free tickets to a Justin Bieber concert.

John and Jennifer Jacobson of Scarborough said their daughter, Abbie, was visiting Sam's Club with her father in April when she discovered the small purse on the ground and found it contained more than $4,000 in $100 bills, a debit card and a cache of gold rings, bracelets and earrings, the New York Daily News reported Wednesday.

The debit card was the only identifying item in the purse, which the family turned in to police. The family called the bank that issued the card, the Bank of Maine, and officials then contacted the purse's owner, Ra Rim.

Rim's daughter and interpreter, Chansatha Meas, said her mother is a recent immigrant from Cambodia and had been at Sam's Club shopping for gifts to take back to the country with her on a planned visit. She said the trip would have been canceled if the cash hadn't been returned.

Rim said she took a picture of Abbie with her to Cambodia and told friends and family the girl was her "angel."

The head of the Bank of Maine, who read in a local paper about Abbie's fondness for pop star Justin Bieber, decided to reward the girl's honesty with free tickets for her whole family to Bieber's sold-out concert this fall in Boston. The Marriott Hotel in Boston has offered to put the family up for free when they attend the show.

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