Saudi officials detained a vulture from Tel Aviv University (part of endangered-species research), calling it a spy and alarming its Israeli handlers that the bird might face a gruesome execution as an espionage agent.
Then, a day later, Iran reportedly detained an Arab-American woman crossing its border from Armenia — after discovering a “spy microphone” in her teeth.
A week later, she was allowed to travel to Turkey.
After an Egyptian woman was killed by a shark at a Red Sea resort, the local governor in Egypt accused Israel’s spy agency, Mossad, of releasing “attack sharks” in order to stifle tourism.
Israeli researchers, writing in the journal Fertility and Sterility, found that women undergoing in-vitro fertilization were almost twice as likely to conceive if they had been made to laugh by a hospital “clown” entertaining them as soon as their embryos were implanted.
Among the don’t-miss tourist attractions in Thailand, according to author Jim Algie’s recent guide (“Bizarre Thailand”):
the monkey hospital in Lopbun, where terminal patients are treated with utmost respect (pending, of course, their imminent reincarnation);
“Tortoise Town” in Khon Kaen province, where those critters outnumber humans by 4-to-1 and dominate the streets with shell-butting mating-rights competitions;
and the Buffalo Head Temple near Bangkok, where the abbot’s pagoda, for some reason, is made of 6,000 water buffalo skulls.
(Send your Weird News to Chuck Shepherd, P.O. Box 18737, Tampa Fla. 33679 or go to www.newsoftheweird.com.)