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Funny old world: The week's offbeat news

From scaling Rio's iconic statue to a novel solution to the daily rigmarole of showing your vaccine certificate... Here's your weekly roundup of offbeat stories from around the world.

August 28, 2021 / 09:12 AM IST
Source: AFP

Source: AFP

From scaling Rio's iconic statue to a novel solution to the daily rigmarole of showing your vaccine certificate... Your weekly roundup of offbeat stories from around the world.

The view from here

We all like a good sunrise but two Frenchmen holidaying in Rio de Janeiro went the extra mile this week, scaling the city's iconic Christ the Redeemer statue while it was closed, and getting nabbed for their effort.

The twenty-something Parisians entered the site at night then snuck inside the 38-meter (125-foot) monument before dawn, climbing a spiral staircase and exiting through a hatch on one of the arms.

Taking in the scene, the duo were spotted by a security guard who promptly ended the adventure.


"The view was nice. Few people get a chance to see that... We were able to get inside the skin of Christ," said Paul Roux-dit-Buisson, who with his chum Clement Dumais has staged similar feats at sites in Dubai, New York and Paris.

They usually document these on social media but Rio's police have confiscated the latest footage.

Tattoo: Let me through

For one man in Italy, the daily faff is over.

Student Andrea Colonnetta has become an internet sensation after a video online showed his novel solution to the rigmarole now involved in entering a restaurant or cinema.

The all-important barcode of his vaccine passport is now tattooed on his arm.

The 22-year-old said he had not given much thought in advance before getting his latest tattoo, but decided on the topical -- and practical -- choice after talking with tattoo artist Gabriele Pellerone.

While he has enjoyed the newfound fame after Pellerone posted a clip on TikTok showing the student and his tattoo entering a McDonald's, Colonnetta admitted his parents had been left a bit perplexed.

"Certainly they encouraged me to be less impulsive and to better reflect on things".

Nature's call 

A bit more reflection is required these days for anyone taking a leak on the banks of the Jakobselva river that separates Norway from Russia.

A new sign has appeared there warning visitors "No Peeing Towards Russia", placed handily next to an official signpost stating that the area is under video surveillance.

"Urinating in nature is not necessarily offensive but it depends on your point of view. In this case it falls under the law banning offensive behaviour at the border," said Norway's border commissioner Jens-Arne Hoilund.

Those who dare to do the deed in Russia's direction face a hefty fine of 3,000 kroner (290 euros, $340).

Hollywood comes to Wrexham

A more heartwarming sign has appeared in Wrexham, a market town and former mining hub in northeast Wales.

Not quite Tinsel Town, but it now has its own imitation of the famous Hollywood letters atop sun-kissed Californian hills, spelling out 'W.R.E.X.H.A.M' and resting on the slagheap of a disused coalmine.

Why all the fuss?

It's in honour of the town's football club, Wrexham FC, preparing to kick off its campaign at the weekend, in the humble fifth tier of English football but with new glam owners.

A-List actor Ryan Reynolds, star of "Deadpool", "Free Guy" and former husband of Scarlett Johansson, bought the club in February with top producer Rob McElhenney saying they wanted to turn it into a "global force".

"Well, first off, super excited," Reynolds told a press conference recently about his venture into the lower leagues of English football. "It's the role of a lifetime".

No doubt he'll be watching Saturday's kick-off, against Solihull Moors.

Tee shot to T-shirt

When one golf fan set off to watch some of the game's elite players compete in a suburban New York competition this week, he did not count on a golf ball landing directly in his T-shirt, delivered direct from the club of a Masters champ.

But that's just what happened at the US PGA Northern Trust tournament, when reigning Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama hit an errant tee shot that landed inside the spectator's shirt.

The 29-year-old Japanese star struck the astonishing shot at the 506-yard 10th hole at Liberty National in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Matsuyama watched as his ball went off target, struck a paved cart path, took a high bounce and then nestled its way inside the shirt of a male fan walking by.

"Went between my legs, hit my knee and somehow rolled up into my shirt," said the lucky fan who got the ball autographed after Matsuyama eventually holed it.
first published: Aug 28, 2021 09:12 am
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