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Whee! More strange news stories. All real. No kidding. Read on, brave strange news reader person.


One of the actual wife-carrying Estonians.

ESTONIA DOMINATES WIFE-CARRYING CHAMPIONSHIP
(Finland) - Estonians took gold and silver at the 2007 world wife-carrying championships in Finland, defying rain and exhaustion to stumble along a path with women clinging upside-down to their backs. They were among 44 couples from 12 countries competing in the annual event in Sonkajarvi, central Finland. The race, held for the 12th time, is intended to evoke the spirit of a legendary Finnish brigand, Rosvo-Ronkainen, who made those who wanted to join his gang run through a forest carrying heavy sacks on their backs. In the modern version, couples race along a track, tackling a pool and several hurdles, with the men carrying the women on their backs. Estonian Madis Uusorg finished first, despite having Inga Klauson on his back upside-down with her legs around his neck. Madis Uusorg is the brother of last year's winner, Margo Uusorg, who holds the world record for the event. "I'm feeling really great because we won," Madis said afterwards. "It was my fifth time here, second time to win this competition. And it was the first time to beat my brother!"

CHRISTIAN BOOT CAMP OFFICIALS ACCUSED OF DRAGGING TEEN BEHIND VAN
(Texas, AP) - Arrest warrants have been issued for two officials at a Christian boot camp accused of dragging a 15-year-old girl behind a van after she fell behind the group during a morning run, authorities said. Charles Eugene Flowers and Stephanie Bassitt of San Antonio-based Love Demonstrated Ministries, a 32-day boot camp, are facing aggravated assault charges for the incident. The two were accused of tying the girl to the van with a rope then dragging her. Arrest affidavits for Flowers and Bassitt list a $100,000 bond. Flowers, the camp's director, allegedly ordered Bassitt to run alongside the girl after she fell behind. When the girl stopped running, Bassitt allegedly yelled at her and pinned her to the ground while Flowers tied the rope to her. The girl's mother gave investigators photos of her daughter's injuries that were taken at a hospital where the girl was treated and a sworn statement from a witness who claimed to see the girl being dragged on her stomach at least three times.

100-POUND DUMPLING CAPS PIEROGI FEST
(Indiana, AP) - A businessman who said a dead relative told him in a dream to cook the world's largest pierogi believes he and a friend did just that at Pierogi Fest. Tim King said his uncle sent him on a mission to create a monster dumpling filled with potatoes and cream cheese when he appeared in a dream three years ago. "I am half-Polish and have been around pierogi all my life. And, believe it or not, I had a dream about my Uncle Emil, who is deceased," King said. "We were eating pierogi together and he told me to cook the world's largest." King's friend, former chef Eric Mansfield, helped devise the cooking plan. Mansfield said it took 25 pounds of flour, 2 1/2 dozen eggs, a gallon of water, 40 potatoes, two pounds of butter and months of planning to make the 48-by-35-inch, 100-pound pierog. A custom-made pot was used to cook it. Mansfield and his assistants then slathered it with buttery onions as it cooled. After a round of picture taking, they cut it up and served it. Whether it is the world's largest pierogi remains to be seen. King said the Guinness Book of World Records ignored their request to be included in the next edition. But that didn't phase him or his crew. They plan to top themselves every year until the Guinness people have no choice but to pay attention. "I'm just helping out a friend," Mansfield said. "Tim wanted it done, and I did it. It was different. It was definitely different, but it was cool. I wish Guinness would have come here for this."

MAN DIES AFTER PHOENIX "EXORCISM"
(Phoenix, AP) - Officers responding to a report of an exorcism on a young girl found her grandfather choking her and used stun guns to subdue the man, who later died, authorities said. The three-year-old girl and her mother, who was also in the room during the struggle between 49-year-old Ronald Marquez and officers, were hospitalized, police said. Their condition was unavailable. ''The purpose was to release demons from this very young child,'' said Sgt. Joel Tranter. Officers arrived at the house and entered when they heard screaming coming from a bedroom, Tranter said. A bed had been pushed up against the door. The officers pushed it open a few inches and saw Marquez choking his bloodied granddaughter, who was crying in pain and gasping, Tranter said. A bloody, naked 19-year-old woman who police later determined to be Marquez's daughter and the girl's mother was in the room, chanting ''something that was religious in nature,'' Tranter said. The officers forced open the door enough for one to enter, leading to a struggle in which an officer used a stun gun on Marquez, Tranter said. After the initial stun had no visible effect, another officer squeezed into the room and stunned him. The girl was freed and passed through the door to the relative. Marquez was placed in handcuffs after a struggle with officers and initially appeared normal, but then stopped breathing, Tranter said. He could not be revived and was pronounced dead at a hospital. The cause of death was not immediately known.

DRIVER ODs, CRASHES INTO DRUG TREATMENT CENTER
(Ohio) - A man with a needle sticking out of his arm crashed into a Clifton Heights, Ohio drug treatment center, witnesses said. The driver, whose name has not been released, was arrested and taken to a hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries. Police said the man was unconscious and had overdosed on a drug, possibly heroin. He regained consciousness when he was loaded into an ambulance and attempted to jump out and flee, but police caught him and restrained him with handcuffs. Some patients at Gateway House said the driver had once been treated at the Vine Street halfway house. No other injuries were reported.

TINY BRAIN NO OBSTACLE TO FRENCH CIVIL SERVANT
(Washington, Reuters) - A man with an unusually tiny brain managed to live an entirely normal life despite his condition, caused by a fluid buildup in his skull, French researchers reported. Scans of the 44-year-old man's brain showed that a huge fluid-filled chamber called a ventricle took up most of the room in his skull, leaving little more than a thin sheet of actual brain tissue. "He was a married father of two children, and worked as a civil servant," Dr. Lionel Feuillet and colleagues at the Universite de la Mediterranee in Marseille wrote in a letter to the Lancet medical journal. The man went to a hospital after he had mild weakness in his left leg. "What I find amazing to this day is how the brain can deal with something which you think should not be compatible with life," commented Dr. Max Muenke. "If something happens very slowly over quite some time, maybe over decades, the different parts of the brain take up functions that would normally be done by the part that is pushed to the side," added Muenke.

UNFAITHFUL MAN FORGETS PENIS AT HOME
(Thailand) - A young Thai man lost his penis to his knife-wielding wife and then forgot to bring his severed member with him to hospital, fatefully delaying a reattachment operation, news reports said. Sornlam Yotbanya had a heated argument with his wife, Rungnapha Pongalee, about his mistress. He went to bed and was rudely awoken hours later when his wife sliced off his member, reported ITV. In Sornlam's haste to get to Bangramrung hospital in Chonburi, he left his penis behind in his bedroom. Bangramrung hospital dispatched a nurse to retrieve the severed member for a reattachment operation. Although the nurse packed the penis in ice, too many of the cells had died by the time it was delivered to hospital, killing all hopes of a revival. Thai hospitals, especially Bangkok's Police hospital, have achieved some fame for their high success rate with penis reattachment operations, providing they are carried out swiftly with all the parts in place.

A GATE-CRASHER'S CHANGE OF HEART
(Washington, D.C.) A grand feast of marinated steaks and jumbo shrimp was winding down, and a group of friends was sitting on the back patio of a Capitol Hill home, sipping red wine. Suddenly, a hooded man slid in through an open gate and put the barrel of a handgun to the head of a 14-year-old guest. "Give me your money, or I'll start shooting," he demanded, according to D.C. police and witness accounts. "We were just finishing dinner," Cristina "Cha Cha" Rowan, 43, blurted out. "Why don't you have a glass of wine with us?" The intruder took a sip of their Chateau Malescot St-Exupéry and said, "Damn, that's good wine." The girl's father, Michael Rabdau, 51, who described the harrowing evening in an interview, told the intruder, described as being in his 20s, to take the whole glass. Rowan offered him the bottle. The would-be robber, his hood now down, took another sip and had a bite of Camembert cheese that was on the table. Then he tucked the gun into the pocket of his nylon sweatpants. "I think I may have come to the wrong house," he said, looking around the patio of the home. "I'm sorry," he told the group. "Can I get a hug?" Rowan, who lives in Falls Church and works part time at her children's school, stood up and wrapped her arms around him. Then it was Rabdau's turn. Then his wife's. The other two guests complied. "That's really good wine," the man said, taking another sip. He had a final request, "Can we have a group hug?" The five adults surrounded him, arms out.

ESTONIA DOMINATES WIFE-CARRYING CHAMPIONSHIP
(Finland) - Estonians took gold and silver at the 2007 world wife-carrying championships in Finland, defying rain and exhaustion to stumble along a path with women clinging upside-down to their backs. They were among 44 couples from 12 countries competing in the annual event in Sonkajarvi, central Finland. The race, held for the 12th time, is intended to evoke the spirit of a legendary Finnish brigand, Rosvo-Ronkainen, who made those who wanted to join his gang run through a forest carrying heavy sacks on their backs. In the modern version, couples race along a track, tackling a pool and several hurdles, with the men carrying the women on their backs. Estonian Madis Uusorg finished first, despite having Inga Klauson on his back upside-down with her legs around his neck. Madis Uusorg is the brother of last year's winner, Margo Uusorg, who holds the world record for the event. "I'm feeling really great because we won," Madis said afterwards. "It was my fifth time here, second time to win this competition. And it was the first time to beat my brother!" Margo won his fifth world championship in 2006 and said at the time it might be his last.

NEW HAMPSHIRE BANK ROBBER DISGUISES SELF AS TREE
(New Hampshire, AP) - Leaf it to New Hampshire, where a bank branch was held up by a man disguised as a tree. Just as the Citizen Bank branch opened, a man walked in with leafy boughs duct-taped to his head and torso, and robbed the place. "He really went out on a limb," police Sgt. Ernie Goodno said. Police said the leafy man didn't saying anything about having a weapon, just demanded cash, and was given an undisclosed amount. Although the branches and leaves obscured much of the man's face, someone who saw images from the bank's security camera recognized the robber and called police. Officers said James Coldwell, 49, was arrested at his Manchester home and charged with robbery.

INAPPROPRIATE HIDING PLACE FOR CELLPHONE PUTS PRISONER IN HOSPITAL
(England) - A U.K. prisoner was admitted to the hospital recently after he hid a mobile phone inside his body and was unable to expel it later. According to the tabloid newspaper, Martin Mahoney, a convicted burglar had hidden the mobile phone inside his anus to hide it during a routine prison search. He had spent days trying to get it out, but was eventually forced to confess to guards. He had to have more than 200 internal stitches and the doctors had to remove part of his bladder. This is a common way to hide mobile phones during inspections as phones are banned inside prisons. Doubtless news of what happened may dissuade prisoners from this activity in future. A source told the newspaper, "Cons are calling him Phoney Mahoney. Sounds funny but he could have died." A Prison Service spokeswoman said, "There are rigorous search systems in place for prisoners and any visitors in order to prevent mobile phones entering prisons. Unfortunately, however, there are occasional breaches in security. It is now well established that prisoners can and do secrete mobile phones in body cavities."

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