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In brief: Trapped thieves phone the police

Two would-be thieves called in their own crime to police in Germany after they could not escape from a broken-down elevator, police said in a statement.

"This sounds really dumb," one of the thieves told police in Cologne over the elevator's emergency phone, "But I'm afraid that we wanted to break in and the elevator has gotten stuck."

Zebras shot for horsing around

Three zebras that escaped in California were shot to death by neighbouring ranchers who claim the exotic animals were threatening their horses and cattle.

Cattle owner David Fiscalini said he shot the zebras because they were chasing seven horses on his property. He then took them to a taxidermist to have their hides tanned. He did not want to waste the hides, he said.

Actor bristling in political deadlock

One of Belgium's best-known actors, Benoit Poelvoorde, has urged his fellow citizens not to shave again until the country finally forms a government.

Poelvoorde, star of black comedy 'Man Bites Dog', made his appeal on Belgian TV. A caretaker government has been running Belgium since June.

Superhero's nose broken in fight

A self-styled superhero who patrols the streets of Seattle has been injured while fighting crime.

Phoenix Jones, who wears a skin-tight rubber suit, a bulletproof vest, body armour and a mask over a woolly balaclava, suffered a broken nose after he was kicked in the face while trying to break up a fight.

Bond author flying high with honour

A new international airport for private jets and small commercial aircraft was unveiled in northern Jamaica, named after the British thriller writer who invented the literary and cinematic super spy James Bond.

Ian Fleming International Airport is close to the scenic retreat where the late author reportedly wrote all 14 of his books.

Governor 'offends' US constitution

Mary Fallin was sworn in as Oklahoma's first female governor but she stumbled over the oath of office and so did not promise to "support, obey and defend the constitution".

At an outdoors ceremony in teeth-chattering cold, Ms Fallin said she would "support, obey and offend" the constitution.

Irish Independent