Putin names dog Buffy
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has named his new dog Buffy, but there was no sign in a walkabout for the cameras on Thursday that the Bulgarian shepherd had any vampire-slaying tricks. In fact, Putin said the dog “can’t do a thing,” although the caramel-and-white-patched puppy contradicted Putin by obediently sitting on his command. A five-year-old boy won a competition to find a name for the dog, which Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov gave to Putin in Sofia last month. “It’s soft, kind and sounds nice,” Putin told the boy, Dima.
Drivers need ethics courses
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has ordered drivers of vehicles with blue flashing lights to undergo a course in “professional ethics” in an attempt to dampen public anger over their brutish behavior on the roads. According to new rules drawn up at Putin’s request, all drivers who use migalki — as the lights are known —- will have to pass the training, starting Jan. 1. Migalki are fixed on police, government and emergency vehicles, but are also available to a large number of middle-ranking state officials. Businessmen and criminals acquire licenses for the lights illegally, paying bribes of up to US$200,000 per year. There has been rising public anger over the impunity afforded to drivers with migalki, especially since a series of violent attacks on people who did not give way to vehicles with migalki.
‘Bomb factory’ blown up
A California house containing a “bomb factory” of explosives went up in smoke on Thursday in an operation controlled by fire services, who said it was the safest way to destroy it. Occasional blasts could be heard as flames leapt high into the air, after a bomb-arson team ignited the building in Escondido. Serbian George Djura Jakubec, 54, who lived in the house for about four years, pleaded not guilty on Monday to eight charges, including making and possessing destructive devices, as well as robbing three banks.
Alleged hitman a US citizen
US embassy spokesman Alexander Featherstone says US authorities have confirmed that an alleged 14-year-old drug gang killer and his 19-year-old sister are US citizens. A birth certificate shows the boy was born in San Diego. He is a suspect in at least four deaths. Featherstone says embassy officials have visited both in prison. They were arrested last week as they tried to board a plane to Tijuana at an airport near Cuernavaca.
Fossil is hyena dung
Researchers say a curled-up brown fossil dredged up off the coast is an ancient piece of hyena dung, the first found in the North Sea dating back to the Late Pleistocene era, 12,000-100,000 years ago. Jelle Reumer, director of the Rotterdam Natural History museum called the prehistoric piece of poop “a beauty.” It was found during work to expand Rotterdam’s port and went on display on Thursday.
Dead Door pardoned
Rock and roll icon Jim Morrison was pardoned on Thursday by the Florida clemency board for exposing himself at a raucous concert in 1969, an act the late singer and many concertgoers denied ever took place. Florida Governor Charlie Crist and the board voted unanimously to pardon The Doors’ lead singer, who was appealing his conviction when he died in Paris in 1971 at age 27.