UPI NewsTrack Quirks in the News

Jan. 10, 2013 at 5:00 PM
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Obama's treasury pick has odd signature

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- President Obama's nominee for secretary of the treasury, Jack Lew, will bring an unusual aspect to the nation's currency in the form of his signature.

Lew, Obama's current White House chief of staff and former head of the Office of Management and Budget, has been known to use a series of scrawling loop-the-loops as his signature ever since a memo surfaced in 2011 bearing his mark, Tribune Newspapers reported Thursday.

If he becomes treasury secretary, Lew would have his signature on U.S. currency as part of his position.

Raccoon snatches golfer's iPhone

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Officials at a Florida golf course said they found a food-snatching raccoon's hideout when he grabbed a cellphone equipped with GPS.

The Okeeheelee Golf Course west of West Palm Beach said a raccoon nicknamed Rocky has been stealing food items from golfers for some time and was suspected to be behind the disappearance of a golfer's iPhone New Year's Day, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Thursday.

The device's owner, Brian Acker, of Sebring, and course employees used the iPhone 4's locator program and heard its locator tone coming from the top of a 12-foot palm tree.

The phone was recovered from the top of the tree, where course workers also discovered a cache of food wrappers.

"He has a taste for open food items left in golf carts and shiny items," Okeeheelee General Manager Mac Hood said of Rocky. "The raccoon just saw something he liked and he went in there and grabbed it."

The iPhone was returned to Acker, but Rocky remains on the loose, Hood said.

Lawyer holds hijab-design contest

CHICAGO, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- A Chicago human rights lawyer is holding a design contest for a hijab, a Muslim head scarf, with U.S. fashion sensibilities.

Shaz Kaiseruddin said she has received about 70 submissions for the American Hijab Design Contest since it started in the fall and she is now extending the deadline for submissions, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

"What we have here today is most women wearing an Arab-style scarf on top of American-style outfits," Kaiseruddin said. "Arabs have their style of hijab, Malaysians have theirs, Indians have theirs, but we haven't come up with a Western or American-looking style. I'm hoping to cultivate the creation of a cutting-edge, very American hijab style."

Kaiseruddin said many U.S. designers do not create fashions for Muslim women because they simply don't know how.

"We're excited to make the unfamiliar familiar," she said.

Cambodian village prays against company

LORPEANG, Cambodia, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- More than 100 residents of a Cambodian village gathered to pray for misfortune to befall a company embroiled in a land dispute.

The Lorpeang village residents gathered Wednesday to pray misfortune on KDC International, which is owned by Chea Kheng, wife of the minister of industry, mines and energy, The Phnom Penh Post reported Thursday.

The villagers said KDC seized more than 1,200 acres of land in 2007, while the company asserts the land was properly purchased.

Lawsuits on the issue have been filed back and forth for the past half a decade.

"We pray to the gods to insult the company and dealers who invaded our lands (almost) seven years ago. We decided to organize the traditional ceremony because we lost confidence in the court and authorities," Lorpeang village representative Reach Sima said, adding that the land dispute has denied villagers their crops and forced many to seek work as laborers in Thailand.

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