In Brief: 'Cat mayor' attacked
A US TOWN'S honourary mayor, Stubbs the cat, has been badly injured in a vicious dog attack.
The quirky Alaska community of Talkeetna elected the cat in a write-in campaign 15 years ago. But now Stubbs is sedated and under veterinary care after the attack, which left him with a punctured lung, bruised hips, a long, deep gash on his side and a fractured sternum.
A GERMAN firm has apologised for producing condoms marked with an offensive message used in a far-right party's campaign against immigrant births.
The contraceptives, ordered by the youth wing of the National Democratic Party, came in black boxes bearing the slogan "For foreigners and certain Germans". The activists sent them to lawmakers as a protest against "unchecked immigration".
TAKING AIM AT DRONES
VOTERS in a Colorado town won't decide until next month whether to issue hunting licences to shoot down drones, but hundreds of marksmen are lining up for permits to fell such aircraft in the unlikely event any appear in local skies.
A resident of the small ranching and farming community of Deer Trail, 55 miles east of Denver, floated the whimsical idea of issuing permits as a way to protest the proliferation of unmanned aircraft used for commercial or government purposes, said town clerk Kim Oldfield.
ANGELA 'TALKS' BACK
ANGELA Merkel's election campaign team launched a 'Merkel app' for smartphones that appears to make outdoor billboard posters of the German chancellor speak directly to voters.
Use of the cutting-edge technology appeared to be a first for German politics, which is gearing up for an election on September 22.
'DEADLY' DOG SHELTER
A GEORGIA animal shelter's "Lucky Dog" adoption programme deceived pet owners by promising not to euthanise their dogs for a $100 (€75) fee, then killed them instead, authorities said.
Dozens of animals were euthanised in this way, a 60-count indictment alleges.
CRIMINALS RATTED OUT
TEN brown rats have been recruited by Dutch police to help forensic firearms experts sniff out gunshot residue.
The rats have a highly developed sense of smell, and are easier and cheaper to train than dogs, said force spokesman Ed Kraszewski.