Crime and punishment
July 23, 2014
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She's Judge Judy with a dash of Dr. Seuss: Clackamas County Circuit Judge Susie Norby decided to start spitting out rhymes before convicting an Oregon man of stealing a $2,000 bulldog puppy at gunpoint.

JaJuane Deshawn Etheridge, 24, was found guilty Monday of robbery, theft, unlawful use of a firearm, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The entire saga began in 2012 with Etheridge meeting a retired couple in a shopping center parking lot and stealing Harpo, the puppy they had for sale. His girlfriend saw a story about the stolen dog on the news, and called police; Etheridge ended up in a three-hour standoff with a SWAT team before surrendering. While in jail, he was taped berating his girlfriend and telling her not to testify and to stop helping authorities.

Etheridge swore he wasn't guilty, but rather had been set up by friends and his girlfriend — a defense Norby didn't buy. "The inescapable conclusion from the many phone calls and the absurdity of the defendant's testimony on the witness stand is that [Etheridge] will tell any lie, to anyone, at any time, to try to get out of the consequences of his action," she said.

Then, right before announcing her ruling, Norby decided it was time to pull an Emily Dickinson and share a poem she had written for the occasion: "You lied and lied; I can't put that aside. It was your car; you went too far. You hid the pup; the jig was up. You got rid of the gun; your game is done."

Etheridge will be sentenced August 1, perhaps in the form of a sonnet. Catherine Garcia

Compromise!
May 22, 2015
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California officials on Friday accepted a compromise offer from Delta farmers, who proposed forgoing a quarter of their water supplies due to the state's "unprecedented drought," The New York Times reports.

California's agricultural industry accounts for 80 percent of the state's water consumption per year, but farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta own some of the state's most senior water rights — and The Sacramento Bee notes that they have historically held tight to those claims. Representatives for the Delta's nearly 4,000 farmers said they expected most to participate in the cutbacks, either by farming less of their acreage or planting crops that require less water. Sarah Eberspacher

For those who have everything
May 22, 2015
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The Rare Tea Company caters to true tea connoisseurs, says Ming Lui at How To Spend It. Founder Henrietta Lovell specializes in creating bespoke blends of the world's finest teas, which will run you a hefty $7,870 for first blending and a three-month supply. Three one-on-one tasting sessions are usually required; if you can't visit her London shop, she can fly to you. After teasing out a customer's flavor and mouthfeel preferences, Lovell provides up to 10 samples before arriving at the final blend. Because flavors change depending on the season when the tea leaves are picked, each custom blend is tweaked regularly to provide a consistent flavor. The Week Staff

RIP
May 22, 2015

Marques Haynes, arguably one of the Harlem Globetrotters' all-time best players, died on Friday in Plano, Texas, at age 89, The Dallas Morning News reports.

Haynes first signed on with the Globetrotters in 1948, for $400 per season. He quite nearly became the NBA's first black player in 1950, but missed that opportunity due to disagreements with the Globetrotters' owner. However, Haynes still became the first Globetrotter inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, in 1998.

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

"A guy asked me a long time ago if I ever thought I'd get into the NBA Hall of Fame," Haynes told Dallas Morning News reporter Robert Wilonsky in 2007. "My answer was: 'The world is my Hall of Fame.'"

The world was also Haynes' stage: Considered one of the best ball handlers in history, Haynes played before fans in 97 countries, in more than 12,000 games. Sarah Eberspacher

Only in America
May 22, 2015
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Wyoming has made it illegal to collect evidence of water pollution and other violations of environmental laws. The ban is designed to protect the state's cattle farmers, who often let herds graze on public lands and defecate near rivers and streams, polluting them with E. coli bacteria. State Sen. Larry Hicks said the ban would prevent environmentalists from interfering with important "economic activity." The Week Staff

This just in
May 22, 2015

A team of bomb disposal experts has safely removed an unexploded WWII bomb from a construction site in north London, near Wembley Stadium.

The 110-pound bomb was apparently dropped in the 1940s during Nazi air raids, The Telegraph reports. And it was discovered by accident, too: Construction workers near the stadium discovered the bomb while at work on Wednesday afternoon. Police haven't released the exact location where the bomb was discovered.

An army spokesperson told The Telegraph that the bomb posed a "genuine risk to life," and local homes and businesses were evacuated until the bomb was defused. Teams from the Royal Logistic Corps excavated the bomb, and the Royal Engineers created a blast wall around the site in case it accidentally exploded.

Soccer fans excited for the weekend matches at Wembley don't need to worry, though: The stadium tweeted that its weekend schedule is "unaffected" by the bomb. Meghan DeMaria

Only in America
May 22, 2015
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The Boy Scouts of America has banned water-gun fights, saying that it's not "kind" for scouts to shoot each other with "simulated firearms." The organization's new National Shooting Manual also forbids the use of potato guns and marshmallow shooters. The rules brought a wave of derision, with one critic saying the Scouts are turning "boys into a bunch of wusses." The Week Staff

This just in
May 22, 2015
Facebook.com/19 Kids and Counting

Following the revelation that 27-year-old Josh Duggar, one of the stars of TLC's reality series 19 Kids and Counting, had admitted to sexually molesting multiple girls when he was a teenager, TLC has reportedly pulled reruns of the show — which aired its season 10 finale this week — from its schedule.

"Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret," Josh Duggar said in a statement. "I hurt others, including my family and close friends." Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Josh's parents, issued a similar statement, saying their son's actions caused them "to seek God like never before."

The ultimate fate of 19 Kids and Counting is still up in the air, as the network has not yet stated whether it will continue with future seasons. Since the news broke, 2016 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (R) has defended Duggar, who also resigned from his political post at the Family Research Council, an influential conservative group. Meghan DeMaria

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