Odd stories in the news



Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn took 20 minutes out of a constituency visit to create a striking oil painting with the help of a hands-on tutor.

He collaborated with group leader Chris Ellerton, 54, to paint a landscape of sun, mountains, water and both spring and autumn leaves.

The pair appeared to strike up a relationship during Mr Corbyn's visit to a community centre in Shipley, West Yorkshire, with the tutor giving firm instructions on how to develop their painting.


A prank almost proved fatal when a 28-year-old man swallowed a dover sole he had just caught.

The man had been joking around with the 14cm fish on Boscombe pier near Bournemouth in Dorset and put it over his mouth but it wiggled free and jumped down his throat – causing a complete blockage.

Paramedic Matt Harrison said: "I have never attended a more bizarre incident and don't think I ever will – but we're all so glad the patient has no lasting effects from his cardiac arrest, which could so easily have had such a tragic and devastating outcome."


A culture of office "presenteeism" is leading to employees turning up to work regardless of ill health, experts have said.

People spend an average 13 days a year at work while feeling unwell, according to research by Nottingham Business School (NBS).

The study, based on a survey of 300 employees of a large UK utilities organisation, found that during periods of sickness workers operated at 84% of full capacity on average.


A black bear was killed after it wandered into an Anchorage post office.

Local television station KTVA reported that the animal got inside the building near Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in the US state of Alaska by walking through an open door near the loading dock. The facility was closed, but US Postal Service spokeswoman Dawn Peppinger said about 75 employees were sorting mail.

The bear climbed on a conveyor belt and ended up in an area where rubbish is compacted. Employees notified airport police. The bear was killed when officers' efforts to get the animal back outside failed.


Oklahoma authorities are hoping to solve unsolved killings and other cold cases by selling decks of playing cards featuring the cases to prisoners.

The decks are reminiscent of those distributed in 2003 to help US troops identify members of Saddam Hussein's government during the Iraq War. State Bureau of Investigation director Stan Florence said similar initiatives in Florida, Colorado, Connecticut and South Carolina have garnered information which helped solve about 40 murders.

The cards are being sold at six of the state's approximately two dozen prisons at 1.42 US dollars per pack and will eventually be the only playing cards available at the other facilities. Oklahoma has approximately 27,000 inmates.


A Dutch team has won a solar-powered car race across Australia for a seventh time, with a University of Michigan car likely to take second place in the biennial event.

The Nuon team's Nuna 9 car reached the World Solar Challenge finish line in the southern coastal city of Adelaide on Thursday afternoon after five days of racing across 1,878 miles of Outback highway from Darwin in the north.

The Delft University of Technology-based team has competed eight times. The American car Novum is in second place, followed by Belgium's Punch Powertrain team's car Punch 2. This year's race, which marks 30 years since the first World Solar Challenge in 1987, attracted 95 teams from more than 20 countries.