Mad Minute

VILNIUS, Lithuania (AP) — A Lithuanian man flying to Italy got a pleasant surprise when he boarded the plane: He was the only passenger on the Boeing 737-800.

Skirmantas Strimaitis, who was flying from capital Vilnius to the northern Italian city of Bergamo for a skiing holiday March 16, had the whole plane — which can usually sit up to 188 people — to himself. The only others onboard were two pilots and five crew members.

The Novaturas travel agency said it had chartered the plane to fly a group home from Italy, and to avoid flying empty, one-way tickets were sold. Only one person bought one.

Strimaitis told The Associated Press Tuesday the flight, which lasted more than two hours, was “a once in the lifetime experience.”


COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — There's no escape from the long arm of the law in Sweden. Not even sitting naked in a sauna.

Police spokewoman Carina Skagerlind says an off-duty police officer found himself sitting in the same sauna in Rinkeby, a Stockholm suburb, as a fugitive who had dodged a jail sentence for aggravated assault, among other offenses.

Skagerlind says after recognizing each other, "the naked police officer calmly told the man that he should consider himself arrested."

She said Tuesday the officer called colleagues to pick up the fugitive, adding "the arrest was undramatic and the wanted man didn't try to flee."

The officer was praised for the March 29 arrest and police warned fugitives on Facebook: "We are everywhere. Even if you do not see us, we are there."


Talk about a food fight.

A Wisconsin woman called police on Sunday after she got into an argument with her husband when he brought home the "wrong type of chicken," authorities said.

Cops received a call just after 7:30 p.m. from a woman, 40, who reported a verbal argument with her 37-year-old husband, Brown Deer police wrote in a release titled, "Noteworthy calls from the weekend."

Police later found out the couple got into an argument after the husband allegedly purchased the wrong piece of poultry. The man later agreed to stay with his father for the night.

It's unclear what part of the chicken the woman needed, what dish she was cooking and what piece of meat the man ultimately bought. The identities of those involved were not released.


April 2 (UPI) -- A man filming flood damage in North Dakota came across an unusual scene: A moose taking a ride on a floating chunk of ice.

Brett Berry said he was filming from a helicopter in the Cartwright area when he spotted the moose perched on an ice floe in the Missouri River.

"A moose catching a free ride down the Missouri," Berry wrote.

Officials said the recent flooding caused miles-long ice jams in the river.


April 2 (UPI) -- Police in Pennsylvania said they were able to identify and arrest a burglary suspect when a stolen stove fell from the back of his pickup truck.

North Huntingdon Police said officers responded to the Tuscan Hills Housing Plan on a report of a suspicious pickup truck that matched the description of a truck believed to be connected to thefts in the area.

A local resident was able to capture the truck's license plate on camera.

Police said officers on their way to the scene received a report of a stove falling from the back of a pickup truck on Route 30.

Investigators said the suspect, Gary Cawley, 40, attempted to get the stove back into the truck bed, but was unsuccessful and ended up fleeing the scene.

Police pulled Cawley over moments later and he told them he had been retrieving the stove and a microwave for a man he works for. Investigators determined the appliances had been stolen from an unfinished home.

Officers said they are looking into whether the incident was connected to other thefts in the area. Police said it was the second time a stove had been stolen from the same house.

Cawley was booked on burglary and related charges.


MARLBOROUGH, N.H. (AP) — Police in New Hampshire say they cited a driver who had a kid in her lap — the baby goat kind.

Marlborough police say they pulled the woman over on April Fool's Day when they saw her using her cellphone. They soon realized that she was driving without a valid license - and with the goat.

Police said the driver was a 60-year-old woman from Sullivan, New Hampshire. She was released on a citation for operating without a valid license. She also was counseled about distracted driving.

Police posted the encounter on Facebook, with the comment, "I wish this was another April Fool's joke baaaht it's not."


Voters on a small Canadian island face an unusual choice when they cast their ballots in the upcoming provincial election.

The election in Prince Edward Island, to the east of the Canadian mainland, is set for 23 April.

In the district of Kensington-Malpeque, one Matthew MacKay is being challenged by another Matthew MacKay.

The incumbent MacKay, who represents the Progressive Conservatives, is 37 and works as an estate agent.

He told Canada's CTV News that the strange situation was the "talk of the community".

His 64-year-old challenger has offered to use his middle initial, meaning his name will appear on the ballot as Matthew J MacKay.

Matthew J, who is standing for the Green Party, said the island's Scottish settlers were partly responsible for the problem.


April 1 (UPI) -- A Kansas man made a mistake when playing a lottery game for the first time -- and ended up winning $13,599.

Rick Foreman of Wichita told Kansas Lottery officials he had never tried the Racetrax game before when he put down a Superfecta Wheel bet, so he made a mistake when filling out the slip at Mick's Bar & Grill in Wichita.

"I had never played Racetrax before, but I wanted to try it out for a while. So I grabbed a play slip and thought I had marked a $4 single race bet, but I had made a mistake and marked it for 10 races," Foreman said.

The player decided to spend the $40 to play all 10 races and the mistake ended up paying off when he hit a jackpot on the fourth race.

"I got the ticket and sat back down at the table to watch the races. It was the fourth race that won for me, so if I hadn't bought the ticket, I wouldn't have won," Foreman said. "When I told the clerk I thought I had hit the Superfecta, she didn't believe me. Then she checked the ticket and it said to 'redeem in Topeka' and we both started laughing!"

"I have some bills to pay off and I'll probably just put the rest into savings for now," Foreman said. "And I'm definitely going to keep playing Racetrax! It's my new lucky game."


(SKY NEWS) He's arguably the greatest footballer to ever play the game but fans shouldn't call Lionel Messi "God", according to the Pope.

The Pontiff says using the term to describe the Barcelona star is theoretically "sacrilege" and has warned supporters against doing it.

Asked about the subject on Spanish television channel La Sexta, Pope Francis said: "In theory, it is sacrilege. It shouldn't be said. I do not believe it."

When presenter Jordi Evole suggested he did believe Messi was God, Pope Francis replied with a chuckle: "I don't.

"People could call him God, just as they might say 'I adore you', but only God can be worshipped.

"Saying 'He's a god with the ball on the pitch' is a popular way to express yourself. He's great to watch - but he's not God."

Pope Francis is known to be a football fan and is a club member of Buenos Aires side San Lorenzo.

He previously met Messi - a fellow Argentinian - in 2013 and is reported to have hailed him as football's greatest ever player, ahead of Pele, Diego Maradona and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Barcelona fans often call Messi "D10S" - a combination of the Spanish word for God, "dios" - with the number 10 on his shirt.

With five Ballon d'Or awards to his name, the 31-year-old has spent his entire his professional career at Barcelona, where he has won nine league titles, six Copa del Rey honours and four UEFA Champions League winner's medals.

He also inspired Barcelona to an historic treble-winning season on two occasions, securing the league, cup and Champions League in 2008/09 and 2014/2015.

However, Messi is yet to play in a World Cup-winning side for his native Argentina.


(SKY NEWS) An original royal charter from the reign of England's King John has been found in a cardboard box.

The document, which was discovered by accident, carries the seal of the medieval monarch and was issued in York exactly 819 years ago today.

The rare charter was not previously known to have survived, but an excited historian spotted it by chance when he was looking through the archives of Ushaw College Library, which is managed by Durham University.

Dr Benjamin Pohl, a senior lecturer in medieval history, says he immediately recognised it was an original royal charter, which was carefully prepared and written by a "court hand" - someone who might have been a member of the king's government.

He said: "Discovering the original charter at Ushaw is extremely exciting, not least because it allows us to develop a fuller picture of the people who were present at York on 26 March 1200 and eager to do business with the new king.

"Medieval charters are important not just because of the legal acts they contain, but also for what they can tell us about the society and political culture at the time. Our charter might best be described, therefore, as a kind of 'who's who' of northern England (and beyond) at the turn of the 13th century."

Before this discovery, less than a dozen original charters were known to have survived from the first year of King John's reign, making it a hugely exciting find for historians.

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