World Wide Weird: Outrageous News Stories From Across the Globe
From long-lost monasteries to a $300,000 coupon scam, these outrageous news stories prove that sometimes life is stranger than fiction.
The Great Coupon Scam
This past February, one Pittsburgh supermarket owner proved that a little saving here and there can really add up. Michael John Mihelic is accused of ordering employees at his Shop ’n Save locations to cut coupons out of unsold newspapers. Employees would then skim a corresponding amount of cash from the registers and hand over the coupons to Mihelic, who submitted them to manufacturers for credit. The pilfered profits eventually amounted to more than $306,500—a sum worth thinking about before you toss this week’s flyers.
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The Underground Monastery
For some transit riders in Gloucester, England, the commute to work got more interesting in January. The city’s archaeologists confirmed suspicions that something more than dirt was sitting under a bus station: the remains of a 13th-century Carmelite monastery. According to historic maps and evidence from other local digs, the old monastery belonged to the Whitefriars monastic organization, who lived outside the city to avoid its “sinful” influence. Who knows what kind of sinning they might have gotten up to if they ever managed to catch a lift into town.
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The Trick-Or-Treat Ban
If you’re over the age of 12 and head out door-knocking on Halloween in Chesapeake, Va., you could be in for more of a trick than a treat. Since 1970, the town has had a law that penalizes teenaged trick-or-treaters. Offenders could receive a fine of between $25 and $100—or even face jail time. Residents needn’t get too spooked: no one has ever been arrested under this law, which aims to deter teens from crime on Halloween. Still, after a viral parody video earned the policy bad press, the town said in March that it will revise the rule. Meanwhile, the true Halloween criminals continue to go free: the people who hand out raisins as candy.
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