Brussels (AP) – The Star-Spangled Banner looked more starry than usual during one of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s appearances in Brussels. A background picture of the American flag that went up alongside the European Union flag as Pence and EU leader Donald Tusk spoke on Monday had 51 stars instead of the usual 50, one for each state. The Brussels version of the flag had three rows of nine stars and three rows with eight stars each. American flags typically feature a total of nine alternating rows of five or six stars. The EU flag featuring 12 stars in a circle against a blue background was configured correctly. And the American flag had the right number of stripes – 13. The EU Council did not immediately respond when asked about the error with the misplaced star-state.
Columbia University accidentally sends acceptance notices
New York (AP) – Columbia University says it’s strengthening its procedures after it accidentally sent acceptance notices to 277 prospective students and then recalled them. Columbia says the emails, sent Wednesday, “incorrectly implied” that the applicants had been accepted into its School of Public Health’s Master’s program. The university said Friday that it immediately discovered its mistake and sent follow-up emails within an hour. Vice Dean for Education Julie Kornfeld says Columbia “deeply” apologizes. She says Columbia values applicants’ “energy and enthusiasm” and regrets the “stress and confusion” the mistake caused.
Misspelled note on pickup apologizes for ‘anger isusesh’
Carbondale, Colo. (AP) – Police in western Colorado say a man battered somebody else’s pickup with a baseball bat and then left a note acknowledging he had anger issues. Police say the note read, “Sorryy anger isusesh.” The Glenwood Springs Post Independent reports the attack occurred in January near Carbondale. The pickup’s owner found the damage and the note when he returned from snowmobiling. Two witnesses told police another snowmobiler apparently thought the pickup had parked too close to his vehicle. The witnesses say they heard whacking sounds, and one saw the other snowmobiler swinging a bat. They told police they insisted he leave a note. They say he was then able to leave his parking spot with no problem. Police say they arrested a 53-year-old man on a criminal mischief charge.
Trump wigs in big demand during Carnival season in Austria
Pfafstaetten, Austria (AP) – So many people want to be Donald Trump this Carnival season in Austria that some costume shops have run out of wigs mimicking the U.S. president’s memorable hairstyle. Shop owner Manuela Plank, recognizing a business opportunity, went to work making her own toupees a la Trump. Plank thought she was ready to meet demand with the 10 Trump wigs she had stocked for Austria’s pre-Lenten season of balls and other masked events. But they were quickly snapped up. That’s when she started snipping, backcombing, teasing and spraying blond hairpieces to give them the trademark Trump look. “It all takes quite a bit of time,” Plank said as she assessed her latest creation on Monday. “You have to do a lot of back-combing. But you can get it done.” Her shop in the town of Pfaffstaetten, south of Vienna carries over 7,000 costumes, including ancient Greek outfits and the lace and ruffles of the Rococo period. But the Trump look is trumping most others. Plank says that 25 of her Trump wigs are now in circulation within her community of just 3,500 people. Since Carnival extends into early March this year, she is making more. “I think it’s simply because a lot of people are talking about him. And because everybody knows him,” she said. “And his hairstyle is very distinctive.” While many Austrians go all-out for Carnival, Plank says dressing up as Trump carries extra appeal for people who don’t have the patience to create elaborate costumes. “Wig, suit – and done,” she says, tucking a stray wisp of plastic hair in place.