Observatory: The curious world of Tim Minogue

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The Independent Online
Spoiled for choice

Mob justice isn't always a straightforward matter. A crowd in Botswana, while beating up a man accused of stealing a DVD from a shop, was distracted by someone screaming that his pocket had been picked. So the crowd set upon a man seen clutching a wad of banknotes. He cried that he'd just withdrawn the cash from a nearby bank. When staff confirmed this the mob turned on his accuser, who was rescued by police in the nick of time.

Dead as Amontillado

A Texas woman has been charged with "criminally negligent homicide" after giving her husband a sherry enema. Tammy Jean Warner, 42, administered two large bottles to husband Michael, who was unable to drink because of a throat infection. The dead man's blood contained six times the legal alcohol limit, police said.

Nocturnal transmissions

A Swansea man claims to send text messages in his sleep. According to The Sun, Richard Griffiths, 23, texted "Help, I'm in trouble, someone's chasing me" to his mother while having a nightmare, and "Baloo, have you seen Bagheera?" to a friend after watching The Jungle Book. What, no textual fantasies?

I'm a *!%$**! disgrace

A Sunday League football match between Peterborough North End and Royal Mail was abandoned after the referee sent himself off. Andy Wain lost his temper, throwing down his whistle and "eyeballing" the North End goalkeeper, who had disputed a decision. "If a player did that, I would send him off, so I had to go," said Wain, 39, who showed himself the red card in the 63rd minute.

Pouilly Fish

A Chinese entrepreneur has developed a new wine ... made from boiled, fermented fish. Sun Keman, of the Dalian Fisherman's Song Maritime Biological Brewery, claims his wine is "nutritious and low in alcohol". Oddbins is not believed to have hired extra staff to cope with the rush.

Vanishing point

Twenty Dutch homeless people are thought to have headed for an extended Spanish beach holiday after withdrawing more than pounds 70,000 from a faulty cashpoint. Social security cash cards allow claimants to access up to pounds 100 at a time, but the glitch enabled them to withdraw unlimited amounts.

The rough and the smoothies

Sign of the times in Winnipeg, Manitoba, once the boozing and brawling capital of Canada. The New Occidental Hotel, aka The Ox, described as "the last of the old-time, bucket-of-blood bars", is closed for refurbishment. A bouncer said: "No patch of real estate in the West beheld more muggings, knifings, bar brawls and murders" among its clientele of "miners, truckers, railway men and drifters". The new owner, who runs an interior design firm, plans to reopen it as a bar selling coffee and juice - but no alcohol.

Clueless cop

A Swedish policeman who robbed a bank returned to the scene an hour later to investigate the crime. Colleagues became suspicious when the officer, who said he hadn't found any clues, bought a pounds 20,000 car ... in cash, with notes taken in the robbery.

Frog marched

Police in Bihar, India, have introduced a fast-track system to deal with speeding lorry drivers. Instead of being issued with a ticket, they are made to sit on their haunches, hold their ears, and hop like a frog for 500 metres.

Swiss launch `Queer beer' for gays ... Mobile phones for dogs to go on sale ... North Carolina car crash `fatality' wakes up in mortuary ... Gloucester pensioner returns from holiday to find 500 items of junk mail in hall ... Message in bottle takes 15 years to float from Swansea to Holland ... Gang of female hypnotists steals cash from 400 victims in Moscow ... Conman caught in Austria after boasting of pounds 5,000 scam to cellmate, who turns out to be victim's husband ... Colombian mayor shoots himself in bottom while sitting on loo ... Greek driver sacked after showing porn video on school bus ...

They will be amazed how much it could sell for

Diana Duyser, who sold a cheese toastie that looked like the Virgin Mary for pounds 14,000 on eBay last year, advises Texan family who see Jesus's face in frying pan

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