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WHAT THE WORLD
Police reports, plot twists, weird stuff ... from everywhere.
Green Gold: Avocado Delivery Gets Mexican Police Escort
Weird

Green Gold: Avocado Delivery Gets Mexican Police Escort

With Mexico's prized cash crop increasingly targeted by criminal networks, local police have begun to provide protection for those delivering them to wholesalers and markets. Prices have risen more than 200% in the past two months.

URUAPAN — Avocados have become one of the world's most prized cash crops. The market is booming in particular for producers and distributors across certain regions of Mexico, its country of origin that still accounts for more than 30% of global production. But the agricultural source of pride and wealth for Mexicans has also begun to entice its ever hungry criminals looking to dip into the action.

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Photo of a plastic figurine in front of a smartphone displaying social media icons
Weird
Laure Gautherin

Public Sector Trolls? 7 "Institutional" Social Media Accounts That Let It Rip

The Ukraine government’s official Twitter account is using memes and GIFs to poke Moscow and draw attention to the risk of a Russian invasion. It is one of just a few institutional accounts that has decided not to be careful

From good humor to hate speech, you can find just about anything on social media. And it’s not just entertainers, or the anonymously angry: Our would-be public servants of the world have long since jumped into the fray, with provocateur presidents from Donald Trump to Jair Bolsonaro to Rodrigo Duterte.

But Twitter and Facebook and Instagram are also full of plenty of painfully careful (though sometimes very useful) accounts of public institutions, from offices of the prime minister to national weather services to local police stations.

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Google Street View screenshot of Cerdon, in eastern France
WHAT THE WORLD
Rozena Crossman

Fed-Up French Mayor Bans Snow From Falling

Icy roads, electricity outages, whiny city folk … There's only one solution to ending winter chaos.

No one’s dreaming of a white Christmas in the town of Cerdon, in eastern France. Marc Chavent, mayor of this municipality tucked into the Jura mountains, apparently has a very different dream: So frustrated by the difficulties his community faced due to snowfall that earlier this week, the mayor banned the chilly precipitation altogether.

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Poopgate: Is Beloved Istanbul Street Dog Caught In Turkey’s Political Dirty Tricks?
Weird
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank

Poopgate: Is Beloved Istanbul Street Dog Caught In Turkey’s Political Dirty Tricks?

Boji the dog was giving a good image to Istanbul's public transportation system. Some wonder if opponents of the mayor exercised the canine nuclear option...

Boji, a street dog in Istanbul, has garnered national and international acclaim in recent weeks for his ability to navigate the Turkish megapolis all on his own — commuting on the metro, riding ferries and even taking elevators.

According to Getty Images photographer Chris McGrath, who followed him around the city, Boji loves riding the city's trams and trains. The dog's name comes from the word "bogie" ("boji" in Turkish), the framework of a vehicle that houses the wheel and axle, since his favorite spot is sitting on top of the bogie and feeling the vibrations of the engine.

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photo of old car in front of the building
Weird

Iconic Italian Car's Rusty License Plate Brings Lottery Gold

A car that became famous in Italy because it had been parked in the same spot since 1974 helped bring some luck to a Sicilian shopkeeper.

We humans have a thing for old cars. We also appreciate a prime parking spot. But what do you do if you find a nice old car occupying the same parking spot for 47 years? Well, you jot down its license plate number for good luck! Let us explain...

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Photo of two police members in Veracruz, Mexico
WHAT THE WORLD

Police Bust Mexican Drug Gang For Recruiting Boys Via Video Games

The three victims, 14 and younger, were contacted while playing the online game Free Fire, and promised paid work.

OAXACA — Police in Mexico have intervened to rescue three minors, aged 11 to 14, from recruitment into a drug gang that had enticed them through online gaming.

A top Mexican police agency official Ricardo Mejía Berdeja, said the gang had contacted the youths in the south-central city of Oaxaca, chatting through a free-to-download game called Free Fire, which involves shooting at rivals with virtual firearms.

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Photo of people enjoying Andorra's Caldea spa, with mountains in the background
WHAT THE WORLD
Bertrand Hauger

Fart At Famous Thermal Spa Sparks 12-Person Brawl, Three Arrested

Close your eyes. You've arrived in the lush and peaceful microstate of Andorra, known around the world for its natural spas. Flanked by majestic mountains, you take in the deep valleys and glistening lakes of this landlocked nation nestled between Spain and France as you settle in at one of the largest spas in Europe. You've spent the day relaxing with that special someone in the 70 °C thermal waters. Maybe you've just gotten a nice massage.

And then someone farts.

It was exactly just such a mood (and wind) breaker that set off a major brawl this past Monday night at the Caldea spa, leading to three arrests and two injuries, reports local French-language daily L'Indépendant.

The scene was set just northeast of the capital city Andorra la Vella, as several groups of people gathered in the spa's locker room at the end of a relaxing day. A man let one rip, apparently a little too close to another man — insults were exchanged, and two groups of friends quickly came to blows, with a dozen spa-goers in total involved in the kerfuffle.

According to Catalan-language news website Altaveu, the establishment's overwhelmed security staff was forced to call the police, and four patrols were dispatched to the scene.

Three people, including the original "guilty" party, were taken into custody before being released.

No-Vaccine Incentive: CEO Offers Bonus To Unvaccinated Employees
WHAT THE WORLD
Bertrand Hauger

No-Vaccine Incentive: CEO Offers Bonus To Unvaccinated Employees


In recent months, governments and companies around the world have used a variety of incentives to boost vaccination rates — from cash to free beer to a live cow. But in Switzerland, a startup CEO chose to do the exact opposite, encouraging his staff not to get vaccinated — and rewarding them with a big fat Swiss francs bonus.

As Swiss online media Heidi.News reports, Daniel Héritier, CEO of Opeo — a company near Lausanne specializing in the sale of containers and waste collection —, sent an internal memo offering 1,000 Swiss francs ($1,077) bonus to any employee who chooses not to get vaccinated by March 31, 2022. This, as the note reads, to thank them for "not having yielded to this [vaccination] dictatorship which is genocide".

Héritier later tried to justify his action, saying he only aimed at "restoring equity" in the face of COVID measures, which he felt were "unfair to the unvaccinated." Despite his justification, Héritier was promptly fired by Opeo's board of directors, who stated they were in "total disagreement" with the CEO's anti-vaxx stance.