x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

But why wasn't Kim Jong-il there to stop it?

Plus vultures trained to do police work in Germany, a passenger on a flight to Alaska is stung by a scorpion and more news you can lose.

After losing 2-0 to the United States in the women's World Cup, the coach of the North Korean team explained the defeat by saying his players had been struck by lightning.

Kim Kwang Min said the players had been hit during a training session in Pyongyang and that his defenders and the North Korean goalkeeper were the players worst affected.

He added: "The physicians said the players were not capable of participating in the tournament, adding "the fact that they played could be called abnormal, the result of very strong will."


Vultures not good cops

Plans by German police to use a trained vulture to locate dead bodies have run into trouble because the bird is having trouble distinguishing between human and animal remains and prefers to walk - not fly - on assignments.

Lower Saxony police hoped that Sherlock, a turkey vulture, could save valuable man hours by fly overhead in the search for missing people.

After months of training, they have discovered he is reluctant to take to the air and gets nervous when taken out of his zoo, hiding in bushes or woods.

Sherlock was to have been joined by two other younger vultures, named Miss Marples and Columbo, but their trainer says they only want to fight with each other.


Everybody must get stones

Competitors at a stone skimming contest have complained about a rule change that means they are no long permitted to bring their own stones.

After organisers at the Bishop's Castle Skimming Championship in Shropshire, England, decided they would provide stones, the current champion, Rob Long, objected on the grounds that the stones he was being offered were too rough and unsuitable for bouncing across water.

Mr Long, from Wales, said that selecting the right stones was "very much a personal thing, very much like Andy Murray's racket is very personal to him".

Mr Long won the over-60s competition with a 57 metre skim at the World Stone Skimming Championship in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland last year, thereby earning himself the official title of "Old Tosser".


Don't mess with Texas

After feeling something touching his arm during a flight to Alaska, Jeff Ellis looked down to discover he had just been stung by a scorpion.

Mr Ellis, a doctor who had boarded the flight in Seattle, managed to put the scorpion in a plastic bag with the aid of a paper napkin and then waited for possible side effects that could have included anaphylactic shock.

After surviving the ordeal, Mr Ellis, 55, explained his concern by saying: "In the movies, scorpions kill people."

An airline spokesman said the aircraft had previously made stop in Austin, Texas and that the creature had probably boarded then.