It seems a "serial farter" was among the passengers aboard a Transavia Airlines flight from Dubai to Amsterdam. The two Dutch men sitting next to the guy reportedly asked him to stop, but he flat out refused. The flight crew refused to intervene and finally a fight broke out between the men. Despite a warning from the pilot, the altercation continued and forced the plane to be diverted to Vienna Airport, where it made an emergency landing. Police boarded the plane and removed two women and two men that the pilot reported as "passengers on the rampage." The women, who are sisters, are now taking the airline to court claiming they were not involved in the alternation. All four passengers were released from police custody without being charged. However, all have been banned from flying Transavia Airlines in the future. Meanwhile, the farting guy just keeps on farting. (Fox News)
Ugly Sweater Party Turns Into International Incident!
It started as an Ugly Sweater Party. Then it was suddenly an international incident. Michael Rohana was attending the party four days before Christmas at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia when he allegedly entered a room that was closed to guests but, reportedly, had an unlocked door. Inside were 10 of China's famed 8,000 terracotta warrior statues, on loan from China. According to the FBI, 24-year-old Rohana took a selfie with the statues, then touched the left hand of one and seemed to break something off it, then left. On Jan. 8, museum staffers discovered the statue he was said to have touched - valued at $4.5 million - was missing a thumb. An investigation led to Rohana who allegedly confessed to having broken off the thumb and placing it in his desk drawer. An FBI affidavit states that a friend claims Rohana also Snapchatted a photo of the finger the day after the party. Of course our friends in China are incensed, with the head of the organization that loaned the statues to the US asking "that the US severely punish the perpetrator. Two of the organization's members will travel to the US to see the damage first-hand and make the repair with the now-recovered thumb. China will also be seeking monetary damages. Rohana has been charged with concealment of a major artwork and was released on bail after giving up his passport. (Franklin Institute Guardian)
# Me Too, Too!
Democratic California assemblywoman Cristina Garcia has been a big advocate of the # MeToo campaign, and now finds herself being accused of the very thing she's taken a stand against. Former aide David John Kernick is suing Garcia, claiming she fired him for not wanting to play "spin the bottle" in her hotel room after a night of heavy drinking at a fundraiser in 2014. Kernick says he was written up for insubordination the day after he called the suggestion inappropriate and was fired two days later. But Tim Reardon, who was Garcia's chief of staff in 2014, says Kernick was fired after being warned for not doing his job. The allegations against Garcia are "like a malicious, really bizarre alternate universe built on a lot of innuendo and lies solely to destroy [the] character of Assemblywoman Garcia," he says. However, consider that Garcia, who chaired the Legislative Women's Caucus, is already on a voluntary, unpaid leave of absence amid other allegations of sexual misconduct, including groping. Three other former Garcia staffers - who joined Kernick in signing an open letter denouncing the "toxic" atmosphere in her office - say working for Garcia included being pressured to join her at events where she drank heavily, and listening to her talk extensively about her sex life. A lobbyist says Garcia's office contained a "keginator" -a fridge that dispenses draft beer - and she offered lobbyists cups of beer during a late-morning meeting. (Sacramento Bee)
Of Course! Postcards! That'll Stop ‘em!
Well Facebook has decided to use some not-so-high-tech technology to prevent foreign meddling in US elections - namely postcards. Katie Harbath, Facebook's global politics and government outreach director, told a meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of State in Washington that the company would send postcards to potential buyers of political ads to confirm they reside in the US. The recipient would then have to enter a code in Facebook to continue buying the ad. The method will first apply to ads that name candidates ahead of the midterm elections in November. The plan was unveiled a day after special counsel Robert Mueller charged 13 Russians with interfering in the presidential election. Mueller's indictment described how Russian agents stole Social Security numbers and other information from real Americans and used them to create bank and PayPal accounts to buy online ads. Facebook - which uncovered some 3,000 Russian-linked ads bought before and after the November 2016 election - didn't say how the new method would prevent foreign agents from setting up local mailing addresses and hiring people in the US to check them. (Newser)
What? Again with the Postcards!
If any dad should get an extra-special Father's Day gift this year, it should be David Lasseter. The Georgia patriarch has been sending his four kids old-school postcards for more than 20 years, ever since he first dropped his oldest daughter off at college in 1995. Over the past two decades, he figures he's sent almost 20,000 postcards to his brood. Lasseter says he cried in the car after dropping his oldest daughter off at Notre Dame. He sent her a postcard that very night, and a tradition was born. Now, any day that he doesn't see one of his kids, a postcard is put in the mail, and he tries to write a new message each time. Lasseter doesn't know if his kids even read what he sends anymore, but he says the individual messages aren't as important as the underlying one. "When I'm gone, they'll know their daddy loved them," he says. "Life gets tough, and it's nice to know somebody loves you no matter what." One of his daughters says she has every single one saved. (CBS News)
Cow Facing Slaughter Makes a Swim for It!
Faced with her own imminent doom as slaughterhouse workers tried to load her on a truck at the Polish farm where she was raised, one precocious cow decided to make a run for it - or in this case, a swim for it. Reportedly, once she got away from the farmers, she ran into the nearby Lake Nysa in south Poland and appeared to dive underwater, before swimming over to an island, which has become her new home. Her farmer's weeklong efforts to get her back failed, and she even dodged local firefighters, swimming away to a peninsula. Her efforts have impressed many, including one local politician who says, "If all citizens could show such determination as this cow then Poland would be a much more prosperous country." He's promising to get her to "a safe place and, as a reward for her attitude, guarantee her a long-term retirement and natural death." (Newser)