Snakes hit the slots
A casino in Pennsylvania is trying to dispel a persistent rumour that loose snakes are biting its customers.
The Sands Casino Resort said there have been no reported snake encounters. The rumour on the internet claims someone went to their doctor with a snake bite, and the doctor asked immediately if they had visited the casino.
MADONNA'S NYC RIOT
Madonna's not done with her recent string of public appearances – she also has signed on to introduce members of Pussy Riot at Amnesty International's human rights concert in New York.
The pop singer's been busy of late, appearing on Sunday's Grammy Awards with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Madonna says she admires Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova. They were recently released after nearly two years in jail following a protest in a Russian church. The February 5 concert will be at Brooklyn's Barclays Centre.
Nearly six decades after his death, Chicago crime-fighter and 'Untouchables' leader Eliot Ness is still so admired that Illinois's two US senators want to name a building after him in Washington DC.
A Chicago alderman hopes to convince them to drop the idea. Ed Burke said a recent Capone biography indicates Ness was a "Hollywood myth".
NO FLAG, NO PROBLEM
India's top entry at the Winter Olympics has said not being able to compete under the national flag because of a political dispute will not harm his performance.
Luge competitor Shiva Kesavan said support from Indians around the world is enough to push him forward. The Indian Olympic Association was banned in December 2012 for not keeping to its constitution so the Indian flag will not be used at the Games.
Mexico is launching a nationwide effort to fight kidnapping, a crime that has risen to epidemic levels.
Authorities are setting up a national anti-kidnapping committee that will establish strategies focused on the 10 of 31 Mexican states that see 74pc of all kidnappings.
Venezuelan journalists and journalism students have protested in Caracas to demand that the government auction dollars to allow newspapers to buy newsprint after nine regional dailies shut down.
About 100 reporters and students protested in front of the National Centre for Foreign Trade, which sells currency, shouting: "The press is in agony, help Venezuela."