A 21-year-old German tourist who wanted to visit his girlfriend in the Australian metropolis Sydney landed 13,000 kilometers away near Sidney, Montana, after mistyping his destination on a flight booking Web site.
Dressed for the Australian summer in t-shirt and shorts, Tobi Gutt left Germany Saturday for a four-week holiday. Instead of arriving "down under," Gutt found himself on a different continent and bound for the chilly state of Montana.
"I did wonder but I didn't want to say anything," Gutt told the Bild newspaper. "I thought to myself, you can fly to Australia via the United States."
Gutt's airline ticket routed him via the U.S. city of Portland, Oregon, to Billings, Montana. Only as he was about to board a commuter flight to Sidney - an oil town of about 5,000 people - did he realize his mistake.
Helpful drunk driver
German police arrested a man for drunk driving after he mistook a police spot check for a breakdown and stopped to help. Officers inspecting a car by the roadside suspected the 37-year-old passing motorist was under the influence of alcohol when he lurched from his vehicle to offer assistance, police in the northwestern town of Bremen said Friday.
"Obviously his optical assessment of the situation as he drove past was that this was a vehicle breakdown," the police said in a statement.
The man was arrested and banned from driving.
A beagle for a beer
A thirsty German sold his 6-year-old step-daughter's pet beagle to the owner of a bar to pay for beer, the Bild newspaper reported Friday. The unemployed man offered to take the dog for a walk and then stopped at a bar where he convinced the owner to buy the 3-year-old dog for 40 euros (US$53). The man spent the proceeds quenching his thirst for beer. The bar owner has now returned the dog to its owner.
Alert tabby saves family
An alert tabby cat saved an Australian family of four from a house fire by clawing at its owner's face, emergency officials said Friday. Timmy the tabby sprang into action by waking his unidentified owner when a mattress caught fire as the family slept early Friday in Cairns in Australia's tropical north.
"The cat was probably the best smoke alarm system ... it was clawing at the occupant's face and got him up and out of bed," Cairns fire service spokesman Robert White-Macfarlane told reporters. The man was then able to wake his family and call for help.
Fake Goya painting
Spanish police have seized a painting they suspect was falsely attributed to Goya before it was put up for auction, they said Thursday.
"Saints Adoring the Holy Sacrament" was seized Friday before it went under the hammer in Madrid with a reserve price of 1.2 million euros (US$1.6 million), a police statement said. Agents acted to head off "a possible major fraud," police said, adding experts doubted the painting was by Goya.
Dream holiday sale
Wanted: Young single woman in need of cut price romantic Caribbean holiday. The vacation for two is on sale on Internet site eBay for just a fraction of its 2,400 pound (US$4,700) value.
But here's the catch - it comes with a companion. Adam Croot, who had planned the holiday to propose to his partner, was dumped by her just weeks ago. But rather than lose the money on the non-refundable flights and hotel deposit, the 39-year-old decided to go anyway and find another woman to join him, for a payment of 642 pounds.
Jewelers' veiled threat
Women wearing the burqa and other face-concealing veils could be banned from jewelry stores in a west Indian city after a spate of thefts involving burqa-clad customers, jewelers said on Thursday. More than a dozen thefts have occurred in jewelry shops in Pune in Maharashtra state in the past two months, with at least three cases of women wearing burqas spotted by surveillance cameras as they stole gold ornaments.
"Police could not find any clue about the women's identity because their faces were covered," Fatehchand Ranka, head of the Maharashtra Jewelers' Association, told Reuters.