Flight controllers at Oakland International Airport in Waterford Township, Michigan, speaking with an incoming corporate jet over the radio, clearly heard it in the background: "hijack". The pilot hadn't reported trouble, but perhaps a gunman was controlling what he could say. The tower called the police, which called in a squad of officers, the county SWAT team, and the FBI. But when the plane arrived, they discovered that someone had stepped into the cockpit to say hi to the co-pilot. His name is Jack. (AP)


Aaron Lawton, 11, said he thought his teacher was just kidding when he told him, "If you miss an assignment, the whole class gets to deck you." But a month later, when the Franklin Township, New Jersey, sixth-grader was late on a homework assignment, math teacher Maxie Rivers allegedly lined up the students and had them take turns hitting him. "Some of the punches were hard, some were soft and some were in between," the boy said. Rivers' attorney said the beating was "light-hearted" and that the kids only "tapped him kiddingly," but a doctor found multiple bruises. Hillcrest School officials suspended the teacher with pay while they investigate the incident. (AP)


A study of injuries sustained by passengers of Britain's rail network found that 10 percent of the reported injuries involved the same person. The unnamed traveler reported a shoulder injury 49 times in a one-year period. "The injuries were reported at stations throughout the rail network, from Penzance to Edinburgh, sometimes twice in one day," a Railtrack spokesman said. However, the passenger apparently was not trying to perpetrate fraud: he never asked for compensation. (Reuters)


A small post office inside a news stand in West Midlands, England, was robbed. Sort of. A woman brandishing a crowbar threatened the clerk, but the clerk refused to cooperate. In the ensuing struggle, the robber accidentally hit herself on the head with the crowbar, then cut herself with the hook end. Next, her shirt got caught on something and was torn off. That was enough: she fled with a male accomplice. A police spokesman hoped a witness would help break the case, noting "there must be someone out there who is aware of a couple... running away from the premises, the female bloodstained with just her bra on at the time." The news stand owner was not particularly upset by the raid, noting "the post office was never in any danger. It was closed." (PA)

2000 Jon Joaquin. All rights reserved.