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THE NEWS

Odd news from around the world

Italian miner avoids work for 35 years before retiring aged 52: “An Italian coal miner’s confession that he is drawing a pension despite hardly ever putting in a day’s work over a 35-year career has underlined the country’s problem with benefit fraud and its dysfunctional pension system. Carlo Cani started work as a miner in 1980 but soon found that he suffered from claustrophobia and hated being underground. He started doing everything he could to avoid hacking away at the coal face, inventing an imaginative range of excuses for not venturing down the mine in Sardinia where he was employed. He pretended to be suffering from amnesia and haemorrhoids, rubbed coal dust into his eyes to feign an infection and on occasion staggered around pretending to be drunk. The miner, now aged 60, managed to accumulate years of sick leave, apparently with the help of compliant doctors, and was able to stay at home to indulge his passion for jazz. Despite his long periods of absence, he was still officially an employee of the mining company, Carbosulcis, and therefore eventually entitled to a pension.”

Woman gets trapped in chimney of man she met online after six dates: “A woman looking for her soulmate found herself trapped in the chimney of a man she met through an online dating site. Genoveva Nunez-Figueroa, 30, was rescued by a team of firefighters after attempting to enter the man’s home in Los Angeles on Sunday, police say. Neighbours alerted authorities after the soot-covered intruder became stuck and started screaming for help. Firefighters carefully removed bricks to reach the woman and then used dishwashing soap to lubricate the chimney so she could be safely lifted out. Homeowner Lawrence Fernandez said the pair had been on six dates before he broke things off. “She seemed totally cool until the first flag was her actually being on my roof two weeks ago,” he told KTLA. He added: “You have to be careful who you meet online.” Nunez-Figueroa was arrested for illegal entry and providing false information to an officer.”

Gold pocket watch set to sell for over £10 MILLION: “A watch said to be the ‘Holy Grail’ of timepieces and one of the most complicated ever made is set to go under the hammer for £10million next month. The Henry Graves Supercomplication timepiece, made by famed watchmaker Patek Philippe, is the most complex ever produced without the use of computer technology. The gold pocket watch was first commissioned in 1925 by banker Henry Graves Junior, who is considered the greatest watch collector of the 20th century, and was eventually delivered to him in 1933. The watch was calibrated so that Mr Graves could tell the time based on the exact position of the sun at his New York home. The watch features 24 horological complications – or features. They include a perpetual calendar, moon phases, a power reserve and an exact replica of the night sky as seen from Central Park in Manhattan, showing the exact position and magnitude of stars across the Milky Way. Next month, to coincide with Patek Philippe’s 175th anniversary, the watch is again being auctioned in Geneva by Sotheby’s, who expect it to sell for over £10 million.

Grandmother, 72, spends £4,000 covering her house in ‘anti wi-fi’ paint after suffering health problems from wireless signals: “A grandmother has spent £4,000 covering her house in ‘anti wi-fi’ paint after claiming wireless signals are causing her health problems. Stefanie Russell paid for her house in Steyning, West Sussex to be covered in four thick coats of the special paint, and has banned mobile phone and computers from her house. Ms Russell says that she is highly sensitive to the rays emitted by wi-fi signals and it often leaves her suffering from headaches and nausea. Both her interior and exterior walls are being covered with the paint and Ms Russell also owns a special device, which detects unwanted wi-fi signals in her home. The paint works by containing aluminium-iron oxide, which resonates at the same frequency as wifi. It means that when it is coated on walls, signals are absorbed and blocked from entering the rooms.”

£800 VW Golf bought on eBay bursts into flames on the school run 24 hours later: “A family cheated death after their VW Golf convertible burst into flames on the school run – just a day after they bought it on eBay for £800. Nicky Keefe had driven her partner and three children a quarter of a mile from their home in Cheam, Surrey yesterday when the car started smoking. But the problem wasn’t spotted until her son James, 14, noticed his trainers were melting – and shouted: ‘Mum, my feet are on fire!’ The family collected the 19-year-old car from a private seller in Hampshire on Sunday. Mrs Keefe, a primary school teacher, said: ‘We got out of the car and told the people behind us our car was on fire. Then suddenly it was engulfed in flames.’ She said: ‘We are in shock but we are all safe. That’s the main thing. She added her partner was checking their insurance to see if they were covered, and would also contact eBay about the incident. The MK3 Golf Cabriolet, which has 95,000 miles on it, was listed on the auction site with a starting price of £500 – but sold for £810.

And don’t forget to catch up with all the Strange Justice before you go.

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