Odd stories in the news



Rufus Wainwright says there is one positive side to having Donald Trump in power, even if he is not a fan of the US president – good music.

The Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter, and composer, 44, said when “everything’s in flux, that does traditionally translate into good art and good music and a need for depth and perspective”.

He added: “I’m hopeful that people will turn to art and culture… That’s the only positive part. I’m getting a sense… that people are in need of solace.”


A mindfulness-based approach to tinnitus could significantly reduce the severity of tinnitus, researchers say.

Tinnitus, described as a sensation or awareness of sound that is not caused by an external sound source, affects about six million people in the UK – 10% of the population.

Research, funded by the British Tinnitus Association (BTA) and published in two leading journals, has found mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) can make tinnitus less severe and intrusive.


Former cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken celebrated being made a deacon with a party at the Old Bailey where he was jailed 19 years ago.

The 75-year-old ex-Tory MP, who will focus on prison chaplaincy following his ordination at St Paul’s Cathedral, joked that his first return to the famous London court building would be a happier occasion.

The newly-named Reverend Aitken, who was sentenced to 18 months in jail in 1999 after admitting perjury and perverting the course of justice, said: “Well I won’t have to leave by the back door in handcuffs this time round.”


A mayor in Michigan has a message for residents – if he is jogging, do not disturb.

Warren mayor Jim Fouts felt a need to get the message out on Facebook after a resident complained that he did not speak to her while jogging. Mr Fouts said he did not recognise her and typically listens to radio or takes calls on his mobile phone when he is exercising.

Mr Fouts said he is “available 24/7 but NOT when I’m jogging”. He said some residents believe he is “obligated” to stop and talk. Mr Fouts is in his seventies and said he is trying to keep his heart in good shape. He has been mayor of Warren, a Detroit suburb, since 2008.


A federal agency in Alaska wants the public’s help to solve a mammoth theft.

The Bureau of Land Management said someone stole a 45.4kg mammoth tusk from the Campbell Creek Science Centre, an interpretive centre in east Anchorage. The woolly mammoth is Alaska’s official state fossil.

The BLM said the tusk was on display when the centre was burgled in March. The tusk is about 5.5ft long. The dark and light brown mottled tusk is curved. The BLM said generations of schoolchildren and other visitors have viewed the tusk. The agency is offering a 500 dollar reward for its return.


A woman has been ordered to pay more than 200,000 dollars to her ex-boyfriend for sabotaging his opportunity at a prestigious scholarship because she did not want him to leave.

Eric Abramowitz, currently with the Nashville Symphony in Tennessee, is a Canadian clarinetist who in 2013 applied to study at Los Angeles’ Coburn Conservatory of Music. But when his acceptance email came in, his girlfriend Jennifer Lee intercepted the email and deleted it, according to a lawsuit filed in Canada’s Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

The lawsuit said Lee accessed Mr Abramowitz’s email account to decline the scholarship offer. She also sent him a faked rejection letter from the school. The court granted a default judgment against Lee, who neither had a lawyer nor defended herself in court.


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