TORONTO — A Toronto police officer didn’t really do his job recently — with good reason. Const. Niran Jeyanesan was called to a Walmart in Toronto in August in response to a report of shoplifting, according to the Canadian Press. When he arrived, he questioned a teenager suspected of trying to steal a long-sleeved shirt, a pair of socks and a tie. But when Jeyanesan learned the boy needed the items for an upcoming job interview, the police officer not only didn’t lay charges, he decided to purchase the clothing for the suspect himself. And it paid off: A few days later, police announced the 18-year-old had landed the job in the service industry, and was set to start work soon.
ALL FIRED UP
SICILY, ITALY — Setting a fire is no laughing matter, a fact firefighters know only too well. But 15 firefighters in Sicily are suspected of deliberately setting fires, or having friends or family call in false alarms, for two years, according to the Associated Press. The reason? They wanted to be called to work so they could earn extra money. While volunteers, the firefighters receive 10 euros (C$14.80) per hour in compensation from the Italian government. The suspects were discovered when the fire department’s command centre tipped off authorities that one group of off-duty firefighters was being disproportionately called to fight fires. “Compared with 40 interventions from one squad, these volunteers were doing 120, sparking grumbling among some and the desire to join them by others, so they could get more money,’’ said police official Antonino Ciavola.
‘HELP, I’M STUCK’
CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS — Instead of popping out the usual bank notes, an automatic teller machine (ATM) in Corpus Christi, Texas, issued a different kind of note recently. That’s because a contractor sent to work on the machine accidentally locked himself inside, according to the Caller Times. Lacking a cellphone, the worker’s only way to alert the outside world to his predicament was through the bank machine. So he slipped a note through the receipt slot asking for help, and while some passersby thought it was a joke, the police were eventually alerted. They kicked down the door to rescue the man.
CUTTING THE COMMUTE
MUNICH, GERMANY — Long commutes are no fun, no matter where you live. But one man in Germany decided he’d had enough and took the plunge, quite literally. Benjamin David was used to taking a bus or biking to work every day on congested streets in Munich, according to Reuters. Fed up with the slog, the beer garden worker decided to pack his laptop and clothes into a waterproof bag, put on a wetsuit and swim across the River Isar instead. “It is beautifully refreshing and also the fastest way,” he said. “I used to go by bike or bus or car or on foot and you need much longer. Today, the current was quite strong and I only needed about 12 minutes.” The winter may prove a challenge, however, as the river temperature can drop considerably. “I mostly do this in summer. I am a bit of a wimp, but you can also do it in winter,” said David. “Then I’ve got a longer wetsuit.”
LONDON, U.K. — A new “employee” at the treasury department in London, U.K., has more than 11,000 followers on Instagram. Pictures of him prowling through the offices, sporting a colourful bow tie are regularly posted — revealing he’s a cat. Gladstone — a black cat named after the U.K.’s former prime minister William Gladstone — joined the department to reduce the rodent population and, one year later, has managed to capture 22 mice, according to Reuters. “I’ve also caught 2 flies — it’s harder than it looks!” said Gladstone in an August post. Finance ministry officials manage his social media presence, and photos have shown the feline wearing a rainbow tie to mark gay rights, along with celebrating visits by foreign dignitaries.
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