Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, January 2nd - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mad Minute stories from Tuesday, January 2nd

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LOS ANGELES (AP) - It was a race against the cluck as California Highway Patrol officers scrambled to rescue nearly 20 chickens that ran through highway lanes near Los Angeles.
The agency says the birds blocked a portion of Interstate 605 in the Norwalk area Tuesday morning after their cage fell from the back of a truck.
The agency tweeted photos and video of the chickens on the highway and a motorcycle officer collecting them.
Officers managed to rescue 17 birds. Two died.
One tweet asked: "why DID the chickens cross the road? Because they obviously did not want to become 'fast food' on an LA area freeway, of course!"
The driver transporting the chickens was unaware that the birds fell off the truck and did not stop.

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MOSCOW (AP) - The Russian Armed Forces has unveiled its latest cutting-edge weapon in a New Year's greetings video: cuddly puppies.
After a year of showing off its military might in Syria, the Defense Ministry has taken a softer approach in a one-minute video showing dozens of puppies sharing food and cuddling with each other. Older dogs are shown playing with unidentified officers.
In the Chinese calendar, 2018 is the year of the dog, so many Russians are using dogs in their holiday greetings this season.
Over 3,000 dogs are employed in the Russian armed forces.
Dogs from the 470th Dog Breeding Center outside Moscow are among the most decorated in Russia. The center won an international competition last summer against the canine forces of Belarus, Egypt, Iran and Uzbekistan.
 
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In early 2017, inspectors were anonymously alerted to the fact that Gik, the makers of the neon wine, violated a Spanish regulation that says that blue is not a legally approved wine color. As a result, Gik was fined €3,000 by the Spanish government and could no longer label its product as wine; the labels now read "99% wine and 1% grape must."
The almost-wine is currently sold under the "Other Alcoholic Beverages" category in Spain, but in the U.S., it will be sold as blue wine. Its initial launch in late September is taking place in Miami, Boston and Texas, but the team hopes to get to New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Washington, California and Nevada shortly thereafter. The average price per bottle will retail between $12 and $14.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: 
A new bright cobalt blue wine launched in Spain finally has a U.S. release date: this October. The "vintners" who make this blue beverage make no claim to any wine-making expertise - they're just trying to do something "fun" and "different."
"We are not vintners. We are creators," the six Spanish twentysomething entrepreneurs declare on their website, saying they purposely sought out the most "close-minded industry out there" in an effort to make wine "sweeter and easier to drink."
Hate to break it to you, kids, but it's been done. Heard of wine coolers?
But that hasn't stopped the blue wine from aweing the internet.
The 11.5% alcohol content wine is made by Spanish company Gik Live and is a blend of red and white wines from Spanish and French vineyards.
Now, as we know, red plus white does not equal electric blue. Gik's vibrant tint purportedly comes from organic pigments found in grape skin (indigo and anthocyanin) and a "non-caloric sweetener" ("because excess of fast carbs leads to overweight").
Most importantly, how does it taste? We haven't gotten our hands on a sample yet, but the founders claim they've already sold 80,000 bottles after launching earlier this summer.
Gik co-founder Artiz Lopez offered his take on the taste. "For me, it is a wine that is not complex at all. It tastes sweet and fresh and has no heritage," he told Vice's Munchies. "Surprisingly, when we did a blind tasting, just one of 15 people said it was a wine. Among the reactions we found some people even saying it was a soft drink!"

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Police outside Rochester, N.Y., couldn't help but laugh while they attempted to apprehend an alleged cookie-eating, trespassing squirrel from a woman's home.
The Brockport Police Department, who caught and shared video of the incident on Facebook on Friday, said two of its officers were responding to the home of a woman who claimed a squirrel "had broken into the house" and was "reportedly eating cookies in the kitchen."
"Officers Sime and Dawson arrived on scene but were not at all expecting the warm welcome they would receive from the squirrel," the post said.
Police entered the house to the sounds of blasting music from the radio, which the homeowner claimed the squirrel had turned on.
Moments later, the thieving critter jumped down from a hiding spot near the ceiling and hurtled toward the approaching officer, crashing into things along the way.
The officer fell back as he was hit with a handful of squirrel and turned to retreat with his partner. The two were heard laughing hysterically as they made their way out and the proud rodent scurried back through the kitchen, possibly to find more snacks.
Police said the "uninvited guest" eventually was caught and released unharmed.
"Brockport Police will always go the extra mile to help their residents," the department wrote.

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A baby seal that wandered far from home has been returned to the ocean after police officers rescued the pup from a highway in Massachusetts.
Police officials say they spotted the seal waddling down Route 6A in Yarmouth Port on Cape Cod late Friday night.
Police, assisted by Amazing Animal Ambassadors, were able to put the seal in a cage and hold onto it until wildlife officials arrived.
The seal pup was given a clean bill of health and released back into the ocean Saturday, according to the Yarmouth Police Department.
They named the baby seal Houston in honor of Kevin A. Houston, a U.S. Navy Seal from Cape Cod who was killed in Afghanistan.
They believe the pup made the journey from the ocean to the road after travelling up a frozen creek in the area and making his appearance "Navy Seal style."
"Thank you for visiting us and stay warm and safe out there, buddy," officers said.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Thousands of marchers have braved bone-chilling temperatures and wind chills to take part in Philadelphia's annual Mummers Parade, the oldest continuous folk parade in the country.
Organizers had considered postponing the event because of concerns over the brutal weather conditions. But they voted to go ahead with the New Year's Day parade, which featured performers dressed in colorful costumes adorned with sequins and feathers marching down the city's main north-south thoroughfare.
Temperatures were in the single digits when the parade started. Concerns had been raised the frigid temperatures could be dangerous for parade participants and some instruments used by marching string bands.
Heating tents and warm buses were set up along the route for the Mummers.
Philadelphia has hosted the Mummers Parade since 1901.

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FRANKFURT (Huffington Post) - Did you mean Birkenstock?
A German court has ordered Amazon not to lure internet shoppers to its online marketplace when they mistakenly search for "Brikenstock", "Birkenstok", "Bierkenstock" and other variations in Google.
The ruling is a victory for the German sandal maker, whose relationship with Amazon has grown increasingly antagonistic. It convinced a district court in Duesseldorf that Amazon booked variations of "Birkenstock" as keywords through Google AdWords.
Any of those variations would produce search results for Birkenstock shoes sold on Amazon.com, the court said in a ruling dated Dec. 20. Birkenstock sought the injunction because it feared unsuspecting shoppers might buy low-quality counterfeits through Amazon that would erode its reputation.
Earlier this month, Birkenstock said that it would end the sale of its products over Amazon in Europe after Amazon "failed to proactively prevent" the sale of counterfeit Birkenstock goods. A year ago, Birkenstock ended its relationship with Amazon in the United States.
The injunction was first reported by the German magazine Der Spiegel on Friday.
"For us, Amazon is complicit," Birkenstock's chief Oliver Reichert told Der Spiegel.
A spokesman for Amazon declined to comment on the court proceedings but said: "Amazon prohibits the sale of fraudulent products."
"We work diligently with vendors, sellers and rights owners to detect and prevent fraudulent products reaching our marketplace," he added.
A spokesman for the court declined to comment.

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The driver of a semi-truck was apparently at fault in an accident Wednesday afternoon involving a driverless shuttle bus operating in Las Vegas, police say.
The autonomous vehicle had been put into operation in the Freemont East area of the city less than two hours before the incident, which was widely reported due to the high profile of the event.
The truck was backing into a driveway when one of its tires hit the shuttle, causing no significant damage or injuries. The driver was cited for illegal backing.
"The shuttle did what it was supposed to do, in that it's (sic) sensors registered the truck and the shuttle stopped to avoid the accident," the city said in a statement. "Unfortunately the delivery truck did not stop and grazed the front fender of the shuttle. Had the truck had the same sensing equipment that the shuttle has the accident would have been avoided."
The oval-shaped shuttle that can transport up to 12 people has an attendant and computer monitor, but no steering wheel and no brake pedals. It uses GPS, electronic curb sensors and other technology to make its way. It was developed by the French company Navya and was tested in January in Las Vegas.
At the unveiling ceremony, officials promoted it as the nation's first self-driving shuttle pilot project geared toward the public.
Before it crashed, dozens of people had lined up to get a free trip on a 0.6-mile loop in downtown Las Vegas. City spokesman Jace Radke said the shuttle took two more loops after the crash.
NASCAR driver Danica Patrick and magic duo Penn and Teller were among the first passengers.
The transportation company Keolis is operating the shuttle. Its vice president of mobility solutions, Maurice Bell, said the bus will scoot through Las Vegas at no more than 15 mph. AAA Northern California, Nevada and Utah, which is sponsoring the one-year pilot project, expects that 250,000 people will use the shuttle.
Las Vegas resident Stacey Gray and her dog Socrates were among the first to board the bus Wednesday. She said the drive was so smooth that she couldn't even tell she was in a car, but approaching the intersection made her a little nervous.
"A little bit of that looking around and you know wondering if it was going to stop, and 'Oh my gosh, there's a car behind us, kind of little hesitation,'" she said. "But it stopped and it was fine."

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Multiple babies were born across the Lowcountry Monday, some of the first babies of 2018. One little girl has a birthday for the books. Her parents told News 2 the whole experience seemed like a scene out of a movie.
Little Anastasia came into the world in a whirlwind. Her parents live in St. George, but planned to deliver the baby at MUSC in downtown Charleston. The baby decided to come about three weeks early, so her parents hit the gas on the interstate to speed up the hour long drive to the hospital.
The baby's mother, Tiffani Von Glahn, says, "He was going about 90-95 and a police officer came up behind us to pull us over. And he was like, 'Do you want me to stop?' And I was like, 'No don't you stop', because I felt her coming."
Baby Anastasia's parents were worried about not making it to the hospital in time because there was a chance of complications with the delivery.
Von Glahn says, "I was told she was a high risk pregnancy and the way she was sitting at the time, she would've gotten stuck and I would've had to have a C-section. So I was thinking there was no way I could have her naturally."
Because the car was not pulling over for law enforcement, they switched gears thinking it was a car chase.
Von Glahn says, "I look back and there's like 20 police cars, and they had the exits blocked off and everything. Eventually it got to where they had to box us in to stop us."
They stopped the car in the middle of the interstate, at the Cosgrove Avenue exit. The cops sprang into action.
Von Glahn says, "They ended up putting him in handcuffs, just for safety reasons, because they were saying there are people out there that will fake having a pregnant wife."
But baby Anastasia couldn't wait any longer. With the help of police, she was born right there in the center of the interstate.
The baby's father, Carl Alewine, says, "I'm sitting there, watching her born on the hood of the car, fireworks going off in the background because it's New Year's, and then they let me out of handcuffs, and the cops started clapping and congratulating us."
The parents say once law enforcement realized what was happening, they handled it flawlessly.
Alewine says, "It happened so fast and the guy that delivered her was just there."
It's still hard to believe how Anastasia was born into the world. Her parents say the first hour of 2018 had enough excitement to last the rest of the year.
Alewine says, "When you're going to the hospital to have a kid, you imagine high speed, cops around you, but yeah that happened".
Even though there were concerns about complications with this pregnancy, both mom and baby are doing great. The infant was born at a healthy 6 pounds 2 ounces.

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Wigtown, Scotland, UK - A small village in Scotland has become the perfect setting for vacationers looking to work and play out a book lovers fantasy for a short run.  
A book shop in Wigtown, is offering vacationers a chance to run the place while staying in the apartment on the second floor. 
Book aficionados are flocking to the AirBNB website to book their dream vacation at the shop called Open Book. 
The reservation allows up to a two week stay and access to a team of volunteers to organize book readings and other events. 
Open Book is booked for the next three years.
This new way of vacationing has potential to become a trend in Wigston.
There are 14 bookshops in the town that's been designated Scotland National Book Town. 
 

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