UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

Nov. 23, 2012 at 5:00 PM
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Hawk kills rare swallow in Sweden

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Swedish bird watchers said they were excited to spot an American Cliff Swallow in the sky until a hawk swooped down and killed the bird.

Kalle Lofberg, one of about 50 birdwatchers who gathered to watch the swallow, said it was the only bird of its species ever spotted in Sweden and the crowd of watchers grew steadily in the course of three days this week -- until the bird met with its untimely end, The Local.se reported Friday.

"I was watching the whole thing through my camera," Lofberg said. "Someone shouted 'There's a sparrow hawk' but I thought it was far away. And then, the sky was empty."

Lofberg said he went through his pictures and discovered he had taken a snapshot of the moment the hawk grabbed the swallow.

The Aftonbladet newspaper said the birds normally migrate to South America and have only been spotted 10 times in Europe.

Wire fox terrier wins dog show twice

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- The National Dog Show in Philadelphia picked a wire fox terrier as "Best In Show" for the second year in a row, the first time a breed has won consecutively.

Sky, a 4-year-old fox wire terrier, was chosen as "Best In Show" over 1,500 other canines at Thursday's dog show, one year after a fox wire terrier named Eira won the title, the Los Angeles Times reported Friday.

Sky is co-owned by Victor Malzoni of Sao Paolo, Brazil, and Torie Steele of Malibu, who also co-owns Eira.

"Sky is a very beautiful wire fox terrier," handler Gabriel Rangel told People magazine. "She is a natural show dog with a short, well-balanced body. She has a beautiful head and her face is unbelievable."

Best in Show judge Vicki Abbott said in a release from the National Dog Show she was impressed with Sky's "keen expression and that dense, wiry coat."

"The handler let her show herself and she performed," she said.

British parents have 16th child

MORECAMBE, England, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- A British couple who just had their 16th child said they may not be finished having children.

Sue Radford, 37, of Morecambe, England, who first got pregnant at the age of 14, said she and her husband, Noel, just brought newborn Casper home and may consider having even more children, The Sun reported Friday.

"I just love being a mummy. We're so lucky," Radford said. "I get very emotional when I see the children together. I know people stare. Some think they won't get the attention they need. They don't realize how dedicated we are. And maybe we'll be lucky enough to have more."

The couple's first child, Chris, 23, was followed by Sophie, 18, Chloe, 17, Jack, 15, Daniel, 13, Luke, 11,

Millie, 10, Katie, 9, James, 8, Ellie, 7, Aimee, 6, Josh, 4, Max, 3, Tilly May, 2, Oscar, 1, and finally newborn Casper about seven weeks ago.

The couple said they recently became grandparents when Sophie had a baby of her own.

The family, which does not receive any government assistance, lives in a 9-bedroom house that formerly served as a nursing home and use a minibus to transport their brood. The parents said they spend about $400 on groceries each week.

Britain asks WWII code breakers for help

CHELTENHAM, England, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- British code breakers are appealing to their retired colleagues for help translating a World War II message found on a dead pigeon wedged in a chimney.

The Government Communications Headquarter in Cheltenham, England, said the pigeon and its accompanying message were found this year when a Bletchingley, England, homeowner ripped out a fireplace. Code breakers have been unable to decipher the message, which is believed to have been dispatched by Allied forces from Nazi-occupied France during the D-Day invasions June 6, 1944, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

The GCHQ is appealing to retired code breakers from the agency's predecessor, Bletchley Park, for help.

"We know in other contexts that there are still quite a lot of people alive who worked in communication centers during the war," said a GCHQ historian identified only as Tony for security reasons. "It would be very interesting if people did have any information if they could put it in the pot and we could see if we can get any further with it."

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