Bees, brothels and monkey selfies: oh my...

Bees, brothels and monkey selfies: oh my; 2018 abuzz with odd U.S. stories


A hive of honeybees in the heart of New York City, a monkey with a photographer's eye, a brothel full featuring robotic sex dolls and a political candidate who carried the day from his grave were among the characters featured in the strangest stories of 2018.

Worth the sting: Cuba's scorpion pain remedy

Once a month for the last decade, Pepe Casanas, a 78-year-old Cuban farmer, has hunted down a scorpion to sting himself with, vowing that the venom wards off his rheumatism pains.

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No free money in New Jersey: Police want spilled banknotes back

Police in New Jersey on Thursday urged people who grabbed banknotes that spilled out of the back of an armored truck during rush-hour traffic to return the cash, no questions asked.

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Chirp perp: Finches found in luggage at NY airport

A man was caught at New York's JFK airport last weekend trying to smuggle dozens of South American finches into the country, a bird that Guyanese immigrants covet for chirping but officials fear could spread disease, officials said on Thursday.

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Craps: Dice roll sinks Arkansas candidate who twice missed voting for himself

An Arkansas city council candidate who twice showed up too late to vote for himself in a contest that ended in a tie wound up losing the race on Thursday in a dice roll to decide the winner.

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'Benny the Beluga' facing Christmas in the Thames far from home

A beluga whale that was first spotted nearly three months ago in the River Thames is still feeding healthily east of the British capital and facing a lone Christmas hundreds of miles from its normal Arctic habitat.

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Bug business: Cockroaches corralled by the millions in China to crunch waste

In the near pitch-dark, you can hear them before you see them - millions of cockroaches scuttling and fluttering across stacks of wooden boards as they devour food scraps by the tonne in a novel form of urban waste disposal.

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Curry signals willingness to meet with NASA over Moon landing doubts

Three-time NBA champion Stephen Curry on Tuesday signaled that he is willing to take NASA up on its offer to tour its lunar lab in Houston after his pronouncement this week that he does not believe humans ever walked on the Moon.

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Firefighters to the rescue after German chocolate factory spill

Firefighters in the town of Werl in western Germany tackled an unusual emergency late on Monday when a tank at a local firm making liquid chocolate overflowed and poured out onto a street.

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Monkeys run amok in India's corridors of power

India's government faces a tough re-election battle next year but first it must deal with an opponent as wily as any political rival, troops of monkeys that have become a big threat around its offices in New Delhi.

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Enter the Bull: Fighters mix kung fu and bullfighting in China

Several times a week, kung fu teacher Ren Ruzhi enters a ring to spar with a bovine opponent around five times his weight and capable of killing him.

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Cops seek suitor who dropped engagement ring down NYC grating

New York City police sought on Saturday for an unlucky suitor who dropped an engagement ring down a Times Square grating while proposing to his fiancee, who nonetheless told him yes.

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Air New Zealand Christmas ad replicates Trump's U.N. laughter moment

An Air New Zealand advertisement released for the Christmas season this week takes a dig at U.S. President Donald Trump by portraying an American boy wearing a "Make Christmas Great Again" red cap being laughed at by other children on Santa's "naughty" list.

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Thais pray they're barking up the right tree looking for lottery luck

Superstition and looking for luck are a part of daily life in Thailand. In one temple in central Bangkok, visitors hope to find it hidden in the bark of an ancient tree.

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Who brings olive oil to Portugal? Police foil cocaine smuggler's ploy

Who would bring a suitcase full of olive oil to Portugal, one of the world's biggest producers of the stuff?

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Darts-Players let rip in flatulence row at Grand Slam of Darts

Players set more than just their arrows flying at the Grand Slam of Darts this week, with opponents rowing over who had emitted noxious smells during their match, media reported on Saturday.

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Japan cybersecurity and Olympics minister: 'I've never used a computer'

(Corrects minister's time in parliament in second paragraph of this Nov. 14 story.)

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Soccer: Referee banned by FA after rock, paper, scissors blunder

Referee David McNamara has been handed a three-week ban by the English FA for asking two captains to play rock, paper, scissors to decide the kick-off before a Women's Super League (WSL) match after forgetting his coin, British media reported on Tuesday.

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'Frog ladders' help critters escape death-trap drains

A small group of British conservationists are installing mesh- covered ladders in roadside drains to save trapped amphibians from certain death.

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Rotten shark made you queasy? A vomit bag for every guest at the Disgusting Food Museum

The dead mouse in the Chinese wine sure looks nasty, and the maggots in the cheese tend to put people off. But nothing is more horrible to an unaccustomed palate than the Icelandic fermented shark. It's the worst. Or so says the expert.

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