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TNT's round-up of the weirdest news stories of the week

‘UFO’ cruises over BAy of Islands - New Zealand 

A Kiwi man has claimed he spotted a UFO nonchalantly cruising over the Bay of Islands last week.Rob Clarke insisted he was under the influence of no more than a cup of tea, but could not explain the pair of lights he saw moving across the sky outside his Paihia home on Sunday evening. 

“I don’t believe in little green men, and the strongest thing I’d had was a cup of tea,” Mr Clarke told the New Zealand Herald.

“I’m just interested to know what they were.” Mysterious.

 

McDonald's changes name to 'Macca's' - Australia

One of the world’s most successful brands, McDonald’s, is changing its store signs to honour the nickname bestowed upon it by Aussies.

Signs on McDonald’s outlets across the country are being changed to read ‘Macca’s’, the name by which the fast food chain is best known Down Under.

“We’ve been a part of Australia for over 40 years now and we’re incredibly proud to embrace our ‘Australian-only’ nickname,” said Mark Lollback, chief marketing officer for McDonald’s Australia.

“What better way to show Aussies how proud we are to be a part of the Australian community than by changing our store signs to the name the community has given us?” 

The new name will be seen at 13 stores in the run up to Australia Day on January 26, before changing back in February. 

Falling tree shock kills pet fish - South Africa 

A South African couple has told of the moment their pet fish died of shock thanks to a falling tree that cut their house clean in half.

KwaZulu-Natal couple Josh and Clair Dinnis said they were lucky to be alive after the tree fell onto their house in Merrivale during a storm. It smashed through the roof and two brick walls, slicing their home into two halves.

Following the incident, the Dinnis’s rushed to do a head count of their pets, which include horses, cats and dogs. 

The pair said the animals were all fine, apart from one unfortunate individual. 

The fish they had bought just a month earlier sadly did not survive – “It died of shock,” Josh told News 24.

RIP, Goldie. You will be missed.Josh added that he wasn’t sure whether the house was insured as he and his wife are renting it.

Zorbing inventors warn of ‘cowboys’ - New Zealand

The New Zealanders who invented adventure sport zorbing have spoken out against “cowboy” operators after a Russian man died during a zorb ride at a ski resort.  

Father-of-two Denis Burakov, 27, died when the zorb ball he was riding in skidded off the Russian ski field and plunged down a rocky ravine.

It was caught on video.Kiwi co-creator of zorbing Andrew Akers called the operators “cowboys”, according to The New Zealand Herald, while Zorb Ltd, which developed the sport, has called for a global code of safe operations.

It is thought there was no fence in place to stop the zorb ball from rolling over the cliff edge at the Russian resort.

Zorb Ltd chief executive Hope Horrocks described the death as being “very troubling”.

It is understood the operators who organised the ride are being investigated as part of a criminal case into “causing death through providing unsafe services”. 

 

Alligator is found guarding week stash - United States

Police in California were forced to face down a five-foot alligator called Mr Teeth during a drugs bust.    

Officers from the Alameda County sheriff’s department discovered the reptile guarding 15.4kg of marijuana as they carried out a probation check at a property in Castro Valley.

According to NBC News, the gator was found inside a plexiglass tank, and was being used as a deterrent should anyone attempt to get their hands on the weed.

The cops arrested Assif Mayar on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale.

The drugs had been dried and processed.Mr Teeth was apparently “very ill” when he was found and has been taken to Oakland Zoo to recuperate.

Mayar reportedly acquired Mr Teeth in 1996 to commemorate the death of US rapper Tupac Shakur.

 

Smoking smurfs are assault suspects - Australia

Four Smurfs have been arrested over an assault at a Melbourne store.

A Pascoe Vale man was buying cigarettes at a convenience store when he was approached by a man painted blue and dressed as a character from the Eighties cartoon, police said.

The Smurf asked for a cigarette and was offered one, but he demanded the man light it before handing it over.

The man refused and was later assaulted.Police called for the smoking Smurf and three Smurfy mates to come forward over the assault.

Four men handed themselves into police after the appeal.

They are expected to be charged on summons with assault-related offences, police said.

 

Photos: AAP; Thinkstock; Getty


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