It’s an odd, odd world

Mummified resident

MADRID, Spain – A man making his first visit to a home he bought in a foreclosure auction found the former owner’s mummified body sitting on the living room couch, police said Tuesday.

Coroners estimate the woman’s remains had been there since 2001, when she stopped making payments on the residence in the coastal town of Roses in Spain’s northeast Catalonia region.

The body mummified instead of rotting partly because of the salty seaside air in Roses, a Catalan regional police official said, speaking on customary condition of anonymity.

The woman, in her mid-50s, was estranged from her children in Madrid, and no one had reported her missing. She was not identified by officials.

Police said her death also went undetected because her ground-level apartment is in an area of vacation homes with a high turnover of travelers.

Roses Mayor Carles Paramo told the newspaper El Mundo it was normal that no one missed the woman because in housing developments like this one “people are not minding other people’s business.”

Monkey crisis

NEW DELHI – Several lawmakers criticized the Indian government in Parliament on Wednesday for failing to control the growing number of marauding monkeys in the country’s capital, a news report said.

Battalions of simians have been damaging trees, uprooting plants, snatching food from children and terrifying passers-by, the Press Trust of India news agency quoted K. Malaisamy of the opposition All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhgam as saying.

As forest cover around New Delhi has declined, the city has struggled with a growing monkey population. Government buildings, temples and many residential neighborhoods are overrun by hundreds of rhesus macaques.

Last year, the Delhi High Court reprimanded authorities in the Indian capital for failing to stop monkeys from terrifying residents and asked them to find a permanent solution to the monkey menace.

Part of the problem is that devout Hindus believe monkeys are manifestations of the monkey god Hanuman and feed them with bananas and peanuts, which encourages them to frequent public places.

Stick ’em up

LEAVENWORTH, Kansas – Two adolescent boys are accused of wielding a concealed weapon – a squirt gun wrapped in black electrical tape – to steal cash from a discount store.

The purple plastic toy was recovered from the downtown Dollar General store by officers who caught the suspects, ages 11 and 14, within minutes of the holdup, police said Tuesday.

“It’s very troubling that a kid that is 11 years old can formulate the thought in their mind to do something like this,” police Maj. Pat Kitchens said.

No one was injured in the holdup Monday afternoon.

Kitchens said the boys are suspected of walking into the store and displaying the weapon while demanding cash. The clerk reported struggling with the older boy while the younger one reached into a cash register and grabbed money, Kitchens said.

The boys, who are not related, were being held in a juvenile detention center. Police expect they will be charged with robbery, Kitchens said.

Armed and babbling

CHICAGO – Bubba Ludwig cannot walk, talk or open the refrigerator door – but he does have his very own Illinois gun permit.

The 10-month-old, whose given name is Howard David Ludwig, was issued a firearm owner’s identification card after his father, Howard Ludwig, paid the $5 fee and filled out the application, not expecting to actually get one.

The card lists the baby’s height, 2 feet, 3 inches,, weight – 20 pounds – and has a scribble where the signature should be.

With some exceptions, the cards are required of any Illinois residents purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition within the state. There are no age restrictions on the cards, an official said.

Illinois State Police oversee the application process. Their purpose, said Lt. Scott Compton, is to keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons, those under an order of protection and those convicted of domestic violence.

“Does a 10-month-old need a FOID card? No, but there are no restrictions under the act regarding age of applicants,” he said.

Ludwig, 30, of Chicago, applied for the card after his own father bought Bubba a 12-gauge Beretta shotgun as a gift. The weapon will probably be kept at Ludwig’s father’s house until the boy is at least 14.

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