POT POURRI

Girl asks police to test cookie for DNA proof of Santa
CUMBERLAND, R.I., Jan 21: A young Rhode Island girl has finally figured out how to determine if Santa Claus is real — DNA.
The Cumberland resident sent a partially eaten cookie as well as a couple of gnawed-on carrot sticks to the town’s police department to ask if they can be tested for DNA, Chief Matthew Benson said in a statement Friday.
“I took a sample of a cookie and carrots that I left for Santa and the raindeer on Christmas Eve and I was wondering if you could take a sample of DNA and see if Santa is real?” the girl wrote. Her name and age were not disclosed.
Benson forwarded the “evidence” to the state’s Department of Health-Forensic Sciences unit for analysis.
“Items to be examined for traces of DNA and compared with profiles on record for the above-named suspect/aliases,” the department form says.
The charge? Failure to finish snacks.
Results are pending.
“This young lady obviously has a keen sense for truth and the investigative process and did a tremendous job packaging her evidence for submission. We will do our very best to provide answers for her,” Benson said. (AP)

Burning German ‘ghost train’ stopped near Austria border
Berlin, Jan 21: Authorities in southern Germany say efforts to put out a fire on a train turned into a spectacular chase early Friday after the driverless diesel engine began taking off toward Austria of its own accord.
Firefighters had been called to put out a train blaze near the village of Strass at about 3 a.m. (0200 GMT), the Bavarian Red Cross said. But shortly before they arrived the engine started moving downhill on the sloping track, picking up speed as it rolled several kilometers (miles) toward the town of Freilassing.
A video posted online by the Freilassing Volunteer Firefighting Company showed flames and smoke pouring from the train as it swept through the town.
With firefighters in hot pursuit, railway officials managed to switch the “ghost train” onto a side track near Freilassing station where it was stopped by a buffer before it could cross the border. The fire was extinguished and nobody was injured, the Bavarian Red Cross said in a statement. (AP)

Rishi Sunak fined by police again – this time for not wearing seatbelt
London, Jan 21: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been fined 100 pounds for not wearing a seatbelt in a car – the second time he has been fined for breaking rules while in government, media reports said.
The incident occurred while he was filming a video, to promote the government’s latest round of “levelling up” spending, in Lancashire, during a trip across the north of England, the BBC reported. The video was posted on Sunak’s Instagram account.
Lancashire Police said it had issued a 42-year-old man in London with a conditional offer of a fixed penalty. Passengers caught failing to wear a seat belt can be given an on-the-spot fine of 100 pounds and this can increase five-fold if the case goes to court.
The Prime Minister had previously apologised for the incident, saying it was an “error of judgement”.
This was the second fine for Sunak while in the government.
In April 2022, Sunak, then the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was fined along with then Prime Minister Boris Johnson and wife Carrie for breaking Covid lockdown rules – by attending a birthday gathering for Johnson in Downing Street in June 2020. (IANS)

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