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News and Blues

Your weekly dose of weird and funny news

Curses, Foiled Again

A shoplifter made off with $150 worth of produce from a supermarket in Belfast, Northern Ireland, but surveillance video showed the thief wearing a Manchester United shirt with “Benson 22” printed on the back. That evidence led police to Paul Robert Benson, 24, who pleaded guilty after District Judge Mervyn Bates told him he might as well have been wearing a “neon sign” identifying him. (Britain’s Metro)

Litigation Nation

Gregory Reddick, 54, said he’s suing New York City for arresting him after he charged two tourists $400 for a ride on the landmark Staten Island Ferry. The ferry has been free since 1997. Reddick, who police said has “at least five aliases, six Social Security numbers” and a history of burglary and credit-card fraud convictions, acknowledged his rap sheet is real but insisted that selling tickets is legal and has turned his life around. “It’s better than McDonald’s money,” he said. “It’s better than Burger King money.” (New York Post and The Gothamist)

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What Were They Thinking?

At a Fourth of July celebration in Calais, Maine, Devon Staples, 22, decided to launch fireworks off the top of his head. He died instantly. “There was no rushing him to the hospital,” said his brother Cody Staples, 25, who was standing a few feet away when Devon placed a reloadable mortar tube on his head and ignited the fireworks. “There was no Devon left when I got there.” (Associated Press)

Drone On

Washington state Sen. Pam Roach introduced a bill making the use of a drone to commit a felony an aggravating action that would add a year to a prison sentence. “Nefarious drone enterprise” would join carrying a firearm (up to five years extra), trying to outrun a police car (one year) or being armed with a crossbow or hunting knife (six months). Roach said she fears drones could be used to smuggle drugs into prisons, help burglars scout empty houses or enable poachers to track protected Roosevelt elk. (The Economist)

Homeland Insecurity

White supremacists and anti-government radicals have killed more people in the United States since Sept. 11, 2001, than Muslim jihadists have, according to Washington research center New America. The score: 48 to 26. New America program associate David Sterman warned that white supremacy and anti-government idealism constitute an “ignored threat” because the government has focused its surveillance and data collection efforts instead on domestic Islamic extremists. (The Washington Times)

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