Odds and Ends – April 3, 2019

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(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)

Escaped lion spends night in jail cell in South Africa

Johannesburg (AP) – A lion that escaped a wildlife park and was captured weeks later after he reportedly managed to crawl underneath the park’s electric fence, spent the night in a South African jail cell until authorities could send him back to the place he’s meant to call home. The lion was recaptured when four sheep and two goats were killed on a farm in the vicinity. Photos taken on Wednesday show the darted lion sprawled out in the cell, surrounded by onlookers. The lion had escaped from the Karoo National Park, 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the area close to Sutherland where he was found. South Africa’s parks service tweeted that the lion had to wait in the cell until a crate arrived for his transport back to the park.

Court: Middle finger protected by the constitution

Taylor, Mich. (AP) – When it comes to the middle finger, police might need a thicker skin. A federal appeals court says a Michigan woman’s constitutional rights were violated when she was handed a speeding ticket after giving the finger to a suburban Detroit officer in 2017. The decision means a lawsuit by Debra Cruise-Gulyas can proceed. In a 3-0 decision Wednesday, the court said Taylor Officer Matthew Minard “should have known better,” even if the driver was rude. Minard stopped Cruise-Gulyas and wrote her a ticket for a lesser violation. But when that stop was over, Cruise-Gulyas raised her middle finger. Minard pulled her over again and changed the ticket to a more serious speeding offense. Cruise-Gulyas sued, saying her free-speech rights and her rights against unreasonable seizure were violated.

Germany: Crematorium goes up in flames, bodies survive

Berlin (AP) – A fire at a crematorium in southern Germany has caused significant damage to the building – but the 20 bodies stored inside remained intact. German news agency dpa reported Thursday that the cause of the overnight fire in Schwaebisch Hall, about 175 kilometers (110 miles) southeast of Frankfurt, was still being investigated. Dpa quoted regional police saying the bodies were largely unharmed by the blaze, which is estimated to have caused about 1.5 million euros ($1.7 million) in damages.

(Photo: Koss/SDMG/dpa via AP)
(Photo: Koss/SDMG/dpa via AP)

Germany: Drunk passenger demands high-speed train slow down

Berlin (AP) – German police say a drunken man with a fire extinguisher smashed his way into the driver’s cab of a high-speed train running from Frankfurt to Paris and demanded that the driver slow down. Federal police said the ICE train operated by Germany’s Deutsche Bahn stopped near Frankfurt after the incident Sunday morning. The 30-year-old man from Heideberg, who wasn’t identified, was arrested and faces an investigation into dangerous interference in rail traffic, among other things. Police say passengers said the man took a fire extinguisher off the wall, smashed a glass door separating the cab from the passenger compartment, and told the shocked driver the train was going much too fast and he had to save the passengers. No passengers were hurt but the train was taken out of service.