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BritNews RoundUp: May the Force Be With You

Step away from the Millennium Falcon, please, sir.

Eight police officers and two civilian employees at Scotland's largest police department listed their official religion as "Jedi" on employment forms, the BBC reports. The information was obtained by Jane's Police Review, whose editor, Chris Herbert, told the BBC: "The Force appears to be strong in Strathclyde Police with their Jedi police officers and staff. Far from living a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, some members of the noble Jedi order have now chosen Glasgow and its surrounding streets as their home."

Here's the most shocking item from the report: "About 390,000 people listed their religion as Jedi in the 2001 Census for England and Wales. In Scotland the figure was a reported 14,000."

Police in England could use some help from their Scottish Jedi counterparts. They're baffled by the "Jigsaw Murder," a grisly case that has seen the discovery of various parts of an unknown man scattered about the countryside. The Sun thoughtfully provides a map showing what was found where. “Quite lengthy steps have been taken to prevent us identifying who the victim is," said a police officer involved in the case. The hands are still missing.

But it isn't all gore and murder in England. According to the Telegraph, a photographer at a nature reserve in Gloucestershire snapped a "cheeky" hare sticking out its tongue. "The photograph is even more impressive as brown hares make very fast getaways -- often reaching 45 mph as they outmanoeuvre predators," wrote the Telegraph. I can't believe this didn't make the papers here.

Nor did this: A retired physician from Littleover, Derby, has taught seven foxes to stand on their hind legs, "like a dog." According to the Telegraph, "Grandfather and widower Dr Lavelle, 80, said he tried to teach them to sit initially but when that failed he began waving the food above their heads until they learned to stand."

The paper says animal behaviorists find this "amazing," but an RSPCA spokesman is not pleased: "They could easily become dependent on you, then what happens when you move away?" I guess the foxes turn nasty then.

(A small point: Do these foxes stand on their hind legs like a dog or like a man? I mean, with a few exceptions, most dogs don't walk around on their back legs all day.)

Finally, in case you didn't see it: snakes escaped on a plane. Baby pythons. In Australia. Qantas airline staff can't find them. Enjoy your flight.

By John Kelly  |  April 17, 2009; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  BritNews RoundUp  
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Comments

Just read the transcript of your chat, and I wanted to say that I get offered seats on Metro, I assume because my hair is gray. My response is to smile, say no thanks, then say "but I appreciate you asking". I don't need the seat, but it bothers me that offerees can't see that the offeror was being gracious.

Posted by: Traveler8 | April 17, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

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