News of the weird

The law's an ass: Members of the House Agriculture Committee in Florida have voted by a 7-1 margin to outlaw mule-diving. The new law is directed at a Florida couple, Tim and Patty Rivers, who run a tourist attraction billed as the country's only travelling stable of high-diving mules and horses. During the performance, the animals climb a ramp, then dive into a pool of water six feet deep. The law would make it illegal to conduct exhibitions involving riderless mules, donkeys or horses that fall 10 feet or more.

Two legs good; no legs bad: In a claim filed last Thursday at the Te Kuiti District Court in New Zealand, a Maori family is suing the local health authority for permitting a body to be buried without its legs. Monty Winikirei, the patriarch of the family, had his legs amputated below the knees in August 1994 and died a year later. The family claims that the hospital did not tell them that the legs were not with the body when it was returned to them for burial, and he was consequently buried without them, which breaches an old Maori taboo requiring all parts of a person's body to be buried together.

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