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Dispatches Quick Takes

Quick Takes

(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Sheep stealing

Nearly 10,000 sheep across the United Kingdom are on the lam, but a BBC report revealed local police forces are struggling to solve the cases. According to the report, thieves stole 9,635 sheep in England and Wales in 2018. However, the thousands of thefts led to just one criminal charge by police. A spokesman for NFU Mutual, a company that provides insurance to most UK farms, said rural sheep thieves have become both brazen and organized because of a lack of rural policing. “It’s organized gangs,” Tim Price told the BBC. “They’ve got big vehicles, they’ve got the skills to round up sheep and take them away.”


 

Handout

Handout

Do it yourself

Perceiving the Taco Bell cooks to be stingy, one fast-food customer in South Carolina took matters into his own hands. Frustrated with a lack of meat on his Mexican Pizza order, the unidentified customer pulled out of the drive-thru, entered the restaurant, and found no manager present to authorize a refund. The man promptly slipped behind the counter and began demonstrating what he believed was the proper way to make a Mexican Pizza. After making the order, the man left before police could arrive and apprehend him.

 


 

Sebastian Scheiner

Sebastian Scheiner

Attention getters?

Concerned about pedestrians who won’t take their eyes off their cell phones, Tel Aviv, Israel, has installed “zombie traffic lights”—or ground-level LED lights at crosswalks that turn red when pedestrians should stop. The goal, said traffic manager Tomer Dror, is to “find ways to put the road into their eyes.” Pedestrian Haley Danino told The Associated Press that the idea would save lives: “But it’s a bit sad, no? We all look down all the time.”

 


 

Nebraska State Patrol

Nebraska State Patrol

Creative muscle car

A March snowstorm provided one Chadron, Neb., family with a chance to get creative: The family built a replica car out of snow on the street in front of their house. Jason Blundell and his teenage children spent five hours to sculpt a replica of a 1967 Ford Mustang GTA—exactly like the one Blundell keeps in his garage. “We actually had somebody come by while we were building it, and they thought we were burying somebody’s car,” Blundell told the Omaha World-Herald. The family briefly became worried when a Nebraska State Patrol officer stopped by the sculpture and wrote it a ticket. But Sgt. Mick Downing said the ticket and tow notice were just a joke for the State Patrol’s Facebook page.


 

iStock

iStock

Not from around here

The mayor of Bologna, Italy, has one request for tourists traveling to his town: Stop asking for spaghetti bolognese. According to Bologna Mayor Virginio Merola, the popular Italian dish isn’t actually Italian at all, but rather a foreign invention. Merola says bolognese sauce was first created in Bologna, but locals there serve it with flat egg noodles. Spaghetti, he told Italian radio RAI, comes from further south in Italy: “Spaghetti bolognese doesn’t actually exist, yet it’s famous the world over.”

 


 

Squaremouth

Donelan Andrews (Squaremouth)

Reading reward

Attention to detail paid off for one Georgia teacher. After buying travel insurance for a trip to London next September, Donelan Andrews sat down to read the fine print on the Squaremouth contract. Hidden in a jungle of legal phrases Andrews discovered the travel insurance company had inserted a contest. “If you’ve read this far, then you are one of the very few Tin Leg customers to review all their policy documentation,” the contract read. Next, it instructed readers to respond with an email to a special address. Because Andrews was the first to reply, she won Squaremouth’s $10,000 prize. Andrews says she’ll use the money to fund a trip to Scotland for her 35th wedding anniversary.


 

Amy Sancetta/AP

Amy Sancetta/AP

Can’t take the heat

The United States Postal Service might need to update its motto. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a fine to the USPS in January for making its letter carriers deliver the mail during the heat of August in 2018. The official OSHA complaint alleges that mail carriers in Arlington, Fla., “were exposed to the hazards of high ambient temperatures while delivering mail.” The fine totaled $129,336. According to the postal motto, “neither snow nor rain nor heat” will prevent postal workers from delivering the mail.


 

King Abdulaziz International Airport

King Abdulaziz International Airport

Lost and found

One Saudi Arabian mom won’t be winning any mother-of-the-year awards anytime soon. A flight departing from King Abdulaziz International Airport outside of Jeddah was forced to turn around and land when a young mother informed the flight crew she had accidentally left her newborn child in the departure lounge. The news forced the pilot of the Saudi Arabian Airlines flight to turn his Kuala Lumpur–bound airplane around and return to pick up the missing child. Mother and child were safely reunited at the airport.

 


 

Handout

Handout

An immodest proposal?

A marriage proposal in Iran has run afoul of local religious authorities. A video published March 8 revealed a man asking a woman to marry him as the couple stood in the middle of a popular shopping mall in Arak, Iran. For the proposal, the man had arranged balloons and flower petals in the shape of a heart. Police arrested the couple for committing a lewd public display based upon Western cultural norms, not Islamic custom. Mostafa Norouzi, a deputy police chief in Arak, explained the arrest to a local paper: “[It’s unacceptable] to do whatever is common in other places of the world and disregard mores, culture and religion.” The anonymous couple was quickly released on bail.