In England, a blocked ditch sent water flooding through John and Margie Histed's home. They spent eight months and £250,000 fixing the place. But more than a year after the flood, they still can't go back in. They can't unblock the ditch because nested inside they've found a great crested newt, which is protected under British and European Union law. No one can legally capture it, kill it, or disturb its habitat.
In Spalding County, Georgia, seventh-grader Darius Allen brought a BB gun onto a school bus. He showed it to friends Alfred Burns and Andre Bussey, who touched it. When school officials found out, they not only expelled Allen but suspended Burns and Bussey for a year and a half.
A U.S. Air National Guard plane was supposed to release a dummy bomb over a practice field in Kansas. Instead, the pilot dropped the 22-pound bomb on an apartment building in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Guard officials didn't realize what had happened until Tulsa police called them the next day.
A financial consultant and a financial analyst decided to hold a business meeting at Starbucks. No problem. Except they were in Saudi Arabia. And the consultant was a woman. Saudi vice police arrested the woman, took her to jail, strip-searched her, and forced her to confess to being alone with a man.
Seven years ago, a British teenager was raped. She described her attacker as "black, large, and tall." Police arrested Mark Minick—a white, thin, and short man—and kept him under house arrest for several months, because Britain's national DNA database had linked him to a hair found on the girl while she was lying in a hospital bed. Minick worked at the hospital, moving beds.
Government health and safety regulations recently compelled the Carnon Downs theater group in Cornwall, United Kingdom, to register a gun with the police. It was a toy gun that produces a flag saying "Bang." The same rules forced the theater group to register several plastic and wooden swords and keep them locked up when they aren't being used.
New Jersey police arrested two people for protesting Gov. Jon Corzine's plans to increase the use of tolls on state roads. A group of activists had gathered outside Middle Township High School, where Corzine was holding a town hall meeting, when a school administrator asked them to leave. One of the demonstrators replied that the group had a right to protest peacefully on public property. "It's no public property; it's board of education property," the school official declared. Police then ordered the protesters to move at least a quarter mile and, when they refused, arrested two of them for trespassing.
Kate Badger of Wolverhampton, England, faces up to six months in jail and an unlimited fine. Her crime? Tossing an apple core from her car onto the pavement.