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Funny old world: The week’s offbeat news

By AFP - Jun 08,2024 - Last updated at Jun 08,2024

PARIS — From the six-year-old in short trousers who took Washington by storm to why it’s dangerous to mess with Italian mothers... your weekly roundup of offbeat stories from around the world.


What a guy! 


America has a new rogue political superstar — Guy Rose, the six-year-old son of US Republican John Rose. When the Tennessee congressman stood up in the House of Representatives to rail at a court convicting former president Donald Trump for falsifying business records, his son started sticking out his tongue, pulling faces and mugging for the cameras behind him.

But that was not the end of it. The short-trousered terror later added to his father’s embarrassment when they appeared together on Fox News.

Asked what his father does all day, little Guy — who spent the week in Washington with his dad — shot back, “Boring stuff”.

As his father tried to salvage the situation, saying it was really a “very interesting job — you learn a lot from the constituents you serve...” Guy butted in again: “He’s not telling the truth.”


Latin matters 


Guy is lucky he is not Italian. A pushy Roman parent went ballistic when her daughter — an A-grade student — only scraped a pass in Latin.

When she discovered her 16-year-old got only five out of 10 in a test she ordered her out of their car on a major motorway on the edge of the Italian capital.

Police found the girl walking on the side of the ring road. Italian newspapers said she had got nine out of 10 in other classes.


Filthy lucre 


Two American magnet fishing fans have become overnight celebrities after they found $100,000 of dirty money in a safe at the bottom of a pond.

Barbara Agostini and James Kane were trawling a New York pond with magnets on ropes when they struck metaphorical gold. But because the safe was not airtight, much of the money inside was covered in muck.

Fearing it could be the proceeds of crime, the couple took it to the police, but officers washed their hands of the cash.

“The value and authenticity of the alleged currency could not be determined due to the severely disintegrated condition of the property,” the police told AFP.

So Agostini and Kane are now hoping the Treasury in Washington will exchange their water-logged bills for crisp clean currency.

US rules allow for the exchange of damaged banknotes as long as they are not the proceeds of crime.

A Finnish library has forgiven the person who brought a book back 84 years late. But they did have a good excuse — World War II. Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel “Refugees” was due back on December 26, 1939, but in the meantime Stalin’s Soviet army invaded the country.

“The return of the book might not have been the first thing on the borrower’s mind when the due date approached,” Helsinki librarian Heini Strand told AFP.

Even if it was late, “people want to do the right thing. I think that is lovely”, she added.

The book was in such good condition it went straight back on the shelves to be lent out again.

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