Bad Ideas
July 17, 2019

It sounds like the premise of a horror movie or a Floridian fever dream — meth-addicted alligators cause chaos after crawling out of the sewers — but a police department in Tennessee warns that if people keep flushing their drugs down the toilet, this could happen.

The Loretto Police Department says that while serving a search warrant, a suspect recently attempted to flush 24 fluid ounces of liquid meth and miscellaneous drug paraphernalia down the toilet. He wasn't successful, which was good news for the city's sewer workers, who "are not really prepared for meth," the police department said. "Ducks, geese, and other fowl frequent our treatment ponds and we shudder to think what one all hyped up on meth would do."

Loretto Police Chief Bobby Joe Killen told ABC News that while the department is serious about not flushing drugs down the toilet, the idea of "methed-up gators" is just a joke. "When you work eight, 10-hour shifts in our line of work, there are times when we like to laugh a little bit," he said. For those who want to make sure the wild animals of Loretto stay sober, Killen said the police department is happy to help people with proper disposal. Catherine Garcia

February 19, 2019

After a model called Burberry out for showing a sweatshirt with a noose around the neckline during London Fashion Week, the luxury brand announced on Tuesday that the item has been removed from its latest collection.

The sweatshirt was part of Burberry's "Tempest" line, for autumn/winter 2019. Model Liz Kennedy saw the sweatshirt while getting ready to walk in Sunday's runway show, and was disturbed. "Suicide is not fashion," she wrote in an Instagram post. "It is not glamorous nor edgy. Let's not forget about the horrifying history of lynching either. There are hundreds of ways to tie a rope and they chose to tie it like a noose completely ignoring the fact that it was hanging around a neck."

Burberry CEO Marco Gobbetti and Chief Creative Officer Riccardo Tisci both apologized, and Gobbetti released a statement saying the company is "deeply sorry" for the "distress" caused by the sweatshirt. "Though the design was inspired by the marine theme that ran throughout the collection, it was insensitive and we made a mistake," he said. Catherine Garcia

April 4, 2017

The United States will no longer provide money to the U.N. Population Fund, which provides contraception, family planning, and reproductive health services to women around the world.

Last year, the U.S. gave $69 million to the U.N. Population Fund, making it the organization's fourth-biggest donor. The International Women's Health Coalition said Tuesday that those funds "prevented an estimated 320,000 pregnancies and averted 100,000 unsafe abortions, while ensuring 800,000 people had access to contraception."

Republican presidents have previously stopped funding the agency, while Democrats have kept it funded, NBC News reports. Seema Jalan, executive director of the Universal Access Project at the U.N. Foundation, told reporters the U.S. pulling its money will "directly impact the poorest girls and women on the planet. They have no recourse." Jalan argued that women's health care should not be a partisan issue, and both sides should support the U.N. Population Fund's clinics, including the only one in Iraq that takes care of women and girls harmed by ISIS. "I can't think of a better use of U.S. taxpayer dollars than ensuring that a woman fleeing violence can have a safe birth and that her child can survive delivery or that a woman who has been raped by an [ISIS] terrorist can actually have some care and support, and that's what this funding provides," Jalan said. Catherine Garcia

April 27, 2016

Richard Black, a Virginia state senator with no official role in U.S. foreign policy, has traveled to Syria, where he told government officials he will push for a stronger relationship between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the United States.

Syria's official news agency, which erroneously referred to Black as a U.S. senator, says he promised he "will be Syria's voice," and the Republican, who is also the co-chairman of Ted Cruz's campaign in Virginia, is expected to meet with Assad sometime during his trip. In 2014, he sent a praise-filled letter to Assad, which was posted on the Syrian leader's Facebook page, The Associated Press reports. He's also tweeted positive messages, saying Assad has protected Christians and must stay in power, otherwise "ISIS will secure Syria and march on Europe."

Virginia Senate Minority Leader Dick Saslaw (D) told AP that Black's trip "doesn't surprise me one bit," adding that if a Democrat were meddling in Syria, Republicans "would be raising holy hell." At least 250,000 people have died in the country's bloody civil war, and Cruz has previously warned of what might happen if Assad's government is toppled. "Putting ISIS or Al Qaeda or the Muslim Brotherhood in charge of yet another state in the Middle East is not benefiting our national security," he said. Catherine Garcia

January 16, 2015

As one commenter on Speaker.gov so cleverly put it, the U.S. Speaker of the House just "put the bae in Boehner."

A new post on Boehner's website attempts to explain the Republican criticisms of President Obama's new proposal to provide two years of free community college for Americans — using Taylor Swift GIFs.

While the idea of free college makes young people Swift-dancing-level excited, Boehner wants to remind the U.S. that the initiative would cost "60 billion dollars over 10 years." And "not even all the Taylor Swift album sales in the world would cover that bill," the listicle notes. Oof. --Meghan DeMaria

December 22, 2014

The Hotel Reykjavik Marina, owned by Icelandair, found itself in a social media scandal when Twitter users noticed an "Apartheid" cocktail on the hotel menu.

When the image was first spotted on Twitter, Icelandair responded, "Simply scrumptious, enjoy! Happy holidays," unaware of the situation.

Icelandair later issued a full apology, saying a staff member was "unaware" that apartheid signified South Africa's system of racial segregation in the 20th century. Evidently, the employee "thought the word just meant 'separation' and did not understand the connotation and historical signficance."

The drink has been taken off the menu — but if you're wondering just what Apartheid tastes like, the cocktail apparently included vodka, stout liqueur, cream, and roasted hazelnuts. Meghan DeMaria

December 10, 2014

Next time, give her an apple: A Maryland high school student is in big trouble after sharing part of a pot brownie with his teacher.

Police say the 17-year-old was eating the brownie while in class, and when his teacher asked for a piece, he gave her some without mentioning the special ingredient. The woman began to feel sick and acted disoriented, The Associated Press reports, and she was brought to the nurse's office. When police were called, she told them that she suspected the treat she received in third period was made with marijuana.

The student was charged with juvenile counts of administering a dangerous substance, reckless endangerment, and assault. The lesson learned? If your teacher asks for a piece of your pot brownie, just say no. Catherine Garcia

December 5, 2014

Because it takes too long for a letter to make it to the North Pole, two Wisconsin brothers decided the best way to reach Santa immediately would be by calling 911.

Mayville Police responded, and discovered that the boys had used their father's cell phone to place the call. The brothers, ages 3 and 6, explained that they wanted to talk to Santa, and the officers explained that this was the worst idea ever. No one was cited, and before they left, the officers shared some advice with the boys: If you need to talk to Santa, go visit him at your local mall. Catherine Garcia

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