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The Odd Truth, Sept. 3, 2004

The Odd Truth is a collection of strange but factual news stories from around the world compiled by's Brian Bernbaum.

Miss Universe Exposed!

SYDNEY, Australia - Hundreds of people turned out to see Miss Universe strut her stuff on the catwalk. They weren't expecting to see this much of her.

Australian rugby league cheerleader Jennifer Hawkins, who was crowned Miss Universe earlier this year, was at a Sydney fashion show Thursday when a skirt she was wearing unraveled from around her waist and slipped to the floor.

As spectators gasped, 20-year-old Hawkins giggled and rushed backstage.

"I was walking along in a Bora dress and the bottom just came off," she said later in a television interview. "It was just a pity I wasn't wearing better panties."

The incident won Hawkins praise for poise in adversity from Sydney tabloid The Daily Telegraph.

"Hawkins scored a 10 out of 10 for courage under fire, simply laughing the incident off," the paper said on its social pages.

A Bite Out Of Crime? Not Exactly

EVANSVILLE, Ind. - This police dog didn't take a bite out of crime - he bit an elderly man watching authorities conduct a search being filmed by a local TV crew.

The canine that was tracking a gunman bit John Terry, a resident of Senior World retirement community, who was watching the search Wednesday.

Terry did not require medical treatment, police said. He was sitting on an outdoor swing surveying the scene when the dog came up from behind and bit him on the right arm.

A camera crew from Evansville TV station WEHT was taping the police search, and got the bite on video.

Sgt. Stephanie Loehrlein said police dogs seldom bite bystanders but "dogs can make mistakes."

"It doesn't happen very often, but occasionally, we will have an incident," she said.

Police searched the southside neighborhood after two men jumped out of separate cars, one man chasing the other and firing shots from a semiautomatic pistol.

A bullet hit at least one home, police said. One man was arrested on an attempted murder charge, while the other man got away.

Litterbugs On The Lam

TAIPEI, Taiwan - Taiwan's capital has a new most-wanted list, but those being hunted aren't murderers, rapists or thieves. They're litterbugs.

Their mug shots are posted on the Taipei government's Web site, along with an appeal to the public for help in identifying the messy offenders.

So far, four people are in the gallery of shame. There's an elderly man in brown-framed glasses and a blazer. A laughing man in his 30's who appears to show no contrition. And a man in his 20s who seems to be fleeing. All are guilty of flicking their cigarette butts on the ground, the city says.

Police snapped their photos because they refused to provide ID so that tickets could be issued, according to the Department of Environmental Protection's Web site.

But some think the city's policy, which began in May, is heavy handed.

"It's an obvious invasion of human rights," activist Wu Hau-jen told the Apple Daily newspaper. "I wonder which idiot came up with the idea."

But the city argues that human rights shouldn't be used to allow people to harm public interests. "Our street sweepers have complained that they have their hands full picking up cigarette butts or cleaning the streets," the Web site says.

Authorities issued 21,900 tickets for littering in the capital last year, the department said. Violators could be fined up to $175.

Remember, Drugs Make You Forgetful

SHAWNEE, Okla. - Policeman Jon Arnetts was just doing a good turn when he pulled over a car to alert the driver there was a black bag on top of the vehicle. Then he found out what was in the bag.

It contained a handgun, baggies with a small amount of white crystal and marijuana, a smoking pipe and several pills.

The two people in the car were arrested on drug charges, and one will also face a weapons charge.

After the vehicle was impounded, police also found a large hunting knife, a butterfly knife and digital scales.

Go, Speedracer, Go

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. - Authorities couldn't catch him, but they knew where to find him.

After receiving complaints in recent days about a motorcyclist repeatedly speeding on Interstate 196, deputies decided to wait for him alongside the highway early Wednesday.

They spotted the motorcyclist heading east. He was a blur as he blew past, and the deputies briefly gave chase. They clocked him doing 154 mph on a motorcycle on I-196.

"If he's going 150, obviously we're not going to catch him," said Ottawa County sheriff's Sgt. Bill DeWitt.

Deputies arrested the 21-year-old man a short time later at his job in Grand Rapids.

The man faces several charges, including speeding and fleeing and eluding authorities, said DeWitt.

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