British embassy's 'chief mouser' a social media star
AMMAN, JORDAN — Following in the tradition of government ministries in London, the British embassy in Jordan now has a “chief mouser” walking the halls, according to Reuters. The former rescue cat, Lawrence of Abdoun, is a fluffy black-and-white Tom who reports directly to the Foreign Office’s Palmerston — a feline with 57,000 followers on Twitter who provided regular updates @DiploMog. Lawrence already has more than 6,400 followers on Twitter @LawrenceDipCat. “Apart from his mousing duties, he reaches out to followers on Twitter. What’s quite interesting is the British public are seeing the U.K. embassy in Jordan in a different light,” said deputy ambassador Laura Dauban. “Through Lawrence’s Twitter account, we’re trying to show a different side to Jordan, what it is really like — a peaceful, prosperous country that British tourists should come and visit.”
TORONTO — A Toronto woman was apparently “terrified” to receive a long-awaited payroll deposit from her employer recently. Kuini Chuen, a Health Canada chemist, had been waiting three months for a paycheque after the federal government’s disastrous Phoenix payroll system failed to deliver pay to hundreds of thousands of employees. But when it finally came, Chuen wasn’t sure if she should touch the funds, according to the CBC. She knew the deposit was too large because it didn’t take into account the overpayments she’d received while on medical leave. “Never did I think there would be a day when I look at money being deposited into my account and feel terrified,” she said. A single mother of four, Chuen said she would search for a second job if the payroll issues aren’t resolved by 2018. “I really enjoy working for the public service, but I can’t do it for free, with no end in sight.”
Is it a bird? Is it a plane?
OKANOGAN COUNTY, WASH. — A United States Navy air crew was grounded recently after using an advanced fighter jet to draw an inappropriate image in the sky over the state of Washington with the exhaust. The image? A penis. Pictures of the condensed air trail made by the Navy E/A-18 Growler warplane immediately went viral on social media, according to Reuters. The Navy soon issued a formal apology, calling the manoeuvre an “irresponsible and immature act,” and said it would investigate the incident to get all the facts and act accordingly. “Sophomoric and immature antics of a sexual nature have no place in naval aviation today,” said vice-admiral Mike Shoemaker, commander of the Naval Air Forces.
HELSINKI — A government official got into trouble with the Finnish police recently after he apparently hid in the trunk of a car to conceal his meeting with Prime Minister Juha Sipila. While police did not name the man involved, he was reported to be state secretary Samuli Virtanen, also the deputy to foreign minister Timo Soini. Looking to keep his meeting secret, Virtanen climbed into the back of the car but failed to use a safety belt and was therefore cited for breaching the traffic code, according to Reuters. However, the road he travelled on had little traffic, so only the man was at risk of harm, according to police. “The given notification is considered as a sufficient sanction,” said inspector Pekka Seppala.
SYDNEY — An Australian maritime union is unhappy about the name of a new boat many of its members will be working on. The name? Ferry McFerryface. The label came about after the New South Wales state government asked the public to vote on a name for one of its six new ferries. “Boaty McBoatface” was the top choice, but that was also the most popular choice by the British public in 2016 when they were asked to name a polar research vessel (the government eventually overturned that vote). So Australia chose Ferry McFerryface for the harbour ferry. But the union failed to see the funny side. “The transport minister is demonstrating here that he treats public transport as a joke,” said Paul Garrett, spokesperson for the Maritime Union of Australia, noting that ferries traditionally are named after Sydney’s beaches or successful Olympians.