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And Finally


Uncovered cops?

Give a glimpse of your underwear in the Louisiana town of Delcambre and you risk a $500 (€375) fine.

In response to the low-slung trousers look favored by many hip-hop fans, the Mayor of Delcambre says he will sign into law an ordinance to make it a crime to wear trousers that show underwear.

The offense also carries a possible six-month jail term.

Managers move in

A corporate manager in the United States might prefer to move in as a way to move up, making a career change to a profession more closely associated with Britain than its former colonies.

Butlers are in demand in the United States as Americans build bigger homes and engage in busier lifestyles, according to the author of a book on wealthy lifestyles. And a group that trains household help is looking to corporate America for applicants for these well-paid domestic servant positions.

"We prefer to call them household managers," said Mary Louise Starkey, founder of the Starkey International Institute for Household Management in an ABC News report on the growing popularity of U.S. butlers. Because the jobs pay from $70,000 (€52,190) to $200,000 (€149,113), include free room and board, travel to exotic locations and other benefits, Ms. Starkey said her group does not have problems attracting corporate managers to the profession.

"I recruit people from the corporate world," she said, because of the management experience they bring to the job. And many managers are looking to banish the boredom of their corporate lives for something completely different, she explained.

Robert Frank, author of "Richistan: A Journey through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich," said there is a trend in America to build increasingly larger homes that need management help. "These homes are really like businesses," he said during the ABC report.

German squirrel goes on rampage

A small German town was recently terrorized by a squirrel before a 72-year-old citizen killed the creature with his crutch.

The rodent ran into a house in the southwestern town of Passau, leapt onto a 70-year-old woman and bit her hand, according to news agency Reuters.

The woman ran into the street in panic, the squirrel still hanging on to her hand, according to reports.

The creature then injured a construction worker who managed to fight it off. Then the squirrel attacked a 72-year-old man who, after being injured on the arms, hand and thigh, managed to kill the pest with a crutch.

The tears of an 'uninsurable' clown

A Yorkshire clown's livelihood was thrown into doubt after his bubble machine was deemed uninsurable.

Local reports have stated that Sheffield, England-based Tony Turner, who performs as Barry Baloney, was refused public liability insurance from six firms who were concerned that children might slip on the bubbles.

A local council went so far as to describe the soapy liquid as "lethal" according to reports.

In the event, Barry Baloney has given up his machine, and his act will be reduced to juggling and clowning.

A spokesman for Equity, the labor union for the entertainment industry, said that while hypnotists were certainly very difficult to insure, he would be very surprised if Mr. Turner failed to get insurance. It said that public liability insurance cover up to £10 million (€14.8 million) was included in members' annual membership costs.

Mr. Turner said that, "this whole health and safety business has gone too far. Kids eat jelly and ice cream and that gets on the floor and is slippy. Does anyone want to stop them eating that? Bubble-making machines are not intended to make bubbles for people to slip on. They are there for kids to enjoy themselves. They have always been associated with fun and laughter and now I'm being told my machine is dangerous."

Japan finds protection in its oral tradition

A government agency in catastrophe-prone Japan has compiled a database of folktales to help raise public awareness of natural disaster planning.

The Tokyo-based Fire and Disaster Management Agency has collected hundreds of folk beliefs associated with natural catastrophes in a bid to encourage more Japanese to take precautions.

They range from "a swarm of ants climbing trees spells major flooding" to "if bees make their nests low, violent winds will hit." Other sayings include "when pheasants cry, a quake will come," and the less-convincing "womens' dirty underwear on the roof saves the house from thunderbolts."

The database is based on more than 2,000 pieces of advice handed down by word of mouth or in writing over centuries. It includes traditional sayings such as "in a tsunami, let go of your greed and run."

In March this year, Japan's earthquake early-warning system swung into action for the first time as an earthquake reached 6.9 on the moment magnitude scale and struck central regions, killing at least one person and injuring 170 others as it toppled buildings, triggered landslides and sparked a small tsunami along the coast. The system detects the first underground tremors that come before the quake and estimates the intensity before the big seismic waves reach the surface.