Dispatches > The Buzz

Quicktakes

Quicktakes

Issue: "Capitol stampede in Texas," Aug. 9, 2003

Getaway limo Cornelius Weekley had no idea he was driving a getaway car. The limo driver was taking Ricky Beale, a regular customer, to the San Francisco airport when Mr. Beale asked Mr. Weekley to stop at his girlfriend's home. The driver waited outside while Mr. Beale allegedly went instead to a nearby Bank of America branch and robbed two tellers. When Mr. Beale returned, the two then continued toward the airport. Witnesses had spotted Mr. Beale returning to the limo, and police pulled over the luxury automobile. They arrested Mr. Beale, recovered the $5,000 in loot, and released Mr. Weekley. Authorities did not know the suspect's flight plans, or whether they even existed. "It's a stretch limousine-not exactly the most discreet getaway vehicle," Inspector Dan Gardner told the San Francisco Chronicle.
At least he recycles Police last month received an excellent tip on the identity and whereabouts of a Forth Worth, Texas, bank robber. The suspect left it himself. Apparently running short on paper, the man wrote his holdup note on the back of his resumŽ, then forgot to retrieve it from the teller. Authorities used the note/resumŽ to track down the suspect, whom they have not identified. He is being held in federal custody.
High-tech Neanderthals Muslim Malaysia is giving new meaning to the term quickie divorce. Reuters last week reported that Hamid Othman, adviser to Malaysia's prime minister, announced that a Muslim man can divorce his wife by sending her a text message on a mobile phone. Under Shariah law, a man may divorce his wife by telling her, "I divorce you," three times. Text messages, Mr. Hamid said, are "just another form of writing."
Legal revelation Supernatural revelation is again being posted near a particularly breathtaking example of natural revelation. The National Park Service announced late last month that it would reinstall plaques containing biblical passages that it had removed from some of the overlooks at the Grand Canyon. The Park Service had removed them under pressure from the ACLU (see WORLD, July 26). Park Service spokesman David Barna said the plaques, which were donated by the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary in Phoenix 33 years ago and which contain passages from the Psalms, would remain while the agency sought legal advice. "We need to take a step back and look at this," he said. "We'll need some help."
Idar's awakening Idar Roenningen and his "companion" Charlotte Amundsen received a shock during a recent thunderstorm in their native Norway. Lightning struck the couple's cast-iron bed-while they were in it. The room lit up "like 10 welder's torches," said Mr. Roenningen. Insulated by pillows, neither he nor Ms. Amundsen were injured, at least physically. "I think I'm more afraid of lightning now than I'll ever be," he said.
Drag netted James Drag of Scranton, Pa., apparently didn't realize that he was turning himself in when he went to a police station to recover his lost wallet. Mr. Drag dropped his wallet while being chased after allegedly trying to steal $295.50 in quarters and $74.20 in dimes from West Scranton's St. Ann's Basilica. The police told a family member that the wallet was at the station and arrested Mr. Drag when he arrived to claim it.
It takes one to review one? Jayson Blair may be an expert on fraudulent journalism, but should he really write about it for a magazine? The editors at Esquire confirmed that they commissioned the former journalist to write a movie review of Shattered Glass about Stephen Glass, who made up sources and stories for The New Republic. Earlier this year, Mr. Blair himself was forced to resign from The New York Times after admitting that he passed off made-up stories as fact. The magazine's editors plan to run the review in their November issue. "We thought it was a clever way to do a movie review, to have the most infamous fabricator review another infamous fabricator," said Esquire editor-in-chief David Granger.

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