In Brief: Cat's purrfect plunge
A stray cat that spent at least a week over Christmas stuck in a Massachusetts tree has survived an 80ft plunge to the ground with just a couple of pulled muscles.
A Marion Animal Hospital vet said it was "unbelievable" that the cat, dubbed Fortunate, had such slight injuries. Several rescue attempts failed before firefighters cut the branch it was perched on. Fortunate is now at a cat shelter.
Brush off bomb fears
The tick-ticking sound of a bag alarmed employees at the world's busiest airport, but it turned out to be nothing more than a passenger's battery-powered toothbrush.
The sound led to fears of a bomb at Atlanta's airport yesterday. Police cordoned off the area while a bomb squad responded. Airport spokeswoman Myrna White said normal operations resumed within an hour.
Mad about Madonna
A former firefighter with a crush on Madonna has been given three years' probation for resisting arrest outside the singer's New York apartment.
Robert Linhart was convicted in November after being twice arrested in September 2010. Police say Linhart, then 59, was arrested after he parked outside the star's former apartment and painted love notes on poster boards. He returned a few days later and was arrested again. His lawyer Lawrence LaBrew argued that it was no crime to adore Madonna.
Prisoners 'leg' it
THREE prisoners used a table leg to pierce a hole in the roof of their cell in a 14th century French prison and escape .
The three climbed onto the roof of the Colmar prison in eastern France and from there entered an adjoining courthouse, where they fled through a side door.
Police are still searching for the three men.
Army bully keeps rank
US defence secretary Leon Panetta has allowed a three-star army general accused of bullying subordinates to retire without demotion.
A Pentagon inspector general's investigation found that Lt Gen Patrick O'Reilly regularly screamed at subordinates and demeaned employees. Mr Panetta found Lt Gen O'Reilly met the basic standard for being allowed to retire without a loss in rank.
Starbucks goes green
Starbucks is rolling out a $1 (76 cent) reusable cup.
The coffee chain already gives US customers a 10c discount each time they bring in reusable cups for refills. Now it is hoping the new cups will increase the habit.