Wed, 09 Mar 2005

From: AFP

Dognapper on trial in Iran

TEHRAN: A young Iranian woman has gone on trial for kidnapping a dog, stealing its gold leash and robbing its owner of three million rials (US$337), press reports said Sunday.

"A few months ago, my mother's nurse stole our valuable dog and demanded a ransom," the plaintiff in the case, who was only identified as 34-year-old Amir, was quoted as telling the court.

Amir said he agreed to hand over the cash to Sahar, but at the appointed payment time a group of six men turned up, beat him and returned the dog -- only described as being "expensive" -- but without its gold leash.

According to the Etemad newspaper, the family of the 25-year- old accused have in turn alleged the plaintiff had been engaged in "illegal" relations with Sahar.--AFP

;REUTERS; ANPAO..r.. Odd-Germany-car JP/2/ODD

The good Samaritan, 2005

BERLIN: An apparently friendly motorist in Germany stopped to tow a broken-down car, stranded the owners as he sped away, crashed their car into a gas station and then drove off, police said.

"After attaching it, the man sped off so fast that the two hadn't even got into the car -- and were left gesticulating wildly," said police in Aachen. The man then drove toward the gas station, swerving his own car at the last minute.

"But the trailing vehicle went straight on and smashed into the air pump," police said. "The station attendant was roused by the noise and saw a man uncoupling his car from the battered vehicle before departing without further ado."

Police said there was no trace of the reckless driver. --Reuters