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November 3, 2020 GMT

WHAT A FLUKE: DUTCH WHALE TAIL SCULPTURE CATCHES METRO TRAIN

SPIJKENISSE, Netherlands (AP) — This really was a fluke. The driver of a metro train in the Netherlands escaped injury when the front carriage rammed through a stop barrier and was caught by a sculpture of a whale’s tail near the port city of Rotterdam early Monday. Images broadcast on Dutch media show the metro suspended on the whale’s tail several meters (yards) above the ground. The company that operates the metro line says the driver was not injured and there were no passengers on the train when it crashed through stop barriers at a train station.

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LAWN ROBOT IN GERMANY MESSAGES OWNER FOR HELP, FOILS THIEF

BERLIN (AP) - A lawnmower robot’s electronic cries for help foiled a thief’s plan to make off with the grass-cutting automaton. German police said Friday that a homeowner in the western town of Lippstadt was surprised to get a smartphone message Tuesday evening from the robot that it had flipped upside down. When he went outside to the lawn to check on the device, he spotted a thief with the robot tucked under his arm. Police say the thief dropped the robot and fled. Officers searched the area but didn’t locate a suspect. There was no word on whether the robot sustained any damage.

10-FOOT PYTHON REMOVED FROM UNDER CAR HOOD IN FLORIDA

DANIA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a 10-foot Burmese python was removed from under the hood of a car in Florida. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a tweet Thursday that the snake was coiled up under the hood of a Ford Mustang in Dania Beach. Pythons have become a serious environmental problem in the nearby Everglades because they eat almost anything and have no natural predators, save for the occasional alligator. They can reach lengths of 18 feet.

IN SOLIDARITY, POLES BUY FLOWERS TO HELP STRUGGLING VENDORS

WARSAW, Poland (AP) - Driven by new solidarity, Poles have been buying armloads of chrysanthemums to help flower vendors who unexpectedly faced bankruptcy when the government ordered all cemeteries locked due to COVID-19 during a traditional memorial weekend. The first day of November - All Saints’ Day - and the day after were among key holidays in this predominantly Catholic nation, when tens of millions of Poles buy chrysanthemums and candles to visit the graves of their loved ones. To help flower vendors out, city authorities organized trading spots where people could still buy the flowers. The “Buy a Chrysanthemum” appeal spread fast on the Internet after the vendors said they could lose some six months’ worth of work and planned income.

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OFF-DUTY TROOPER IN HALLOWEEN COSTUME STOPS WRONG-WAY DRIVER

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Nevada Highway Patrol says an off-duty state trooper wearing a “Star Wars” costume while returning home from a Halloween costume party prevented a suspected drunken driver from entering a Las Vegas freeway in the wrong direction. The Highway Patrol says Trooper Britta Foesch was a designated sober driver and in her personal vehicle and wearing a Stormtrooper costume — but not its helmet — when she stopped the other vehicle and called dispatchers to get on-duty troopers to the scene early Saturday morning. The Highway Patrol says the other vehicle’s driver was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, driving without a valid driver’s license and two traffic violations.