MINSK: Two Belarussians have been charged with involvement in a pro-democracy stunt in which a Swedish light aircraft dropped hundreds of teddy bears over Belarus last month, the KGB state security service said on Tuesday.
The stunt, mounted by a Swedish public relations company, led to Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko sacking his air defense chief and the head of the border guards, and caused a diplomatic rift in which Belarus expelled Sweden’s
ambassador. In a statement on its website, the Belarussian KGB said two men, Anton Suryapin and Sergei Basharimov, had been detained on suspicion of complicity in the July 4 ‘illegal intrusion’ by a Swedish light aircraft and formally charged.
The KGB statement asked Swedish citizens who took part in the stunt to travel to Belarus to aid an objective investigation. The incident was a humiliation for Lukashenko, a hardliner who has been in power in the former Soviet republic since 1994 and is on poor terms with the West
because of his harsh policies towards the political opposition. It took Belarus more than three weeks to confirm the incident.
The subsequent expulsion of Sweden’s ambassador has worsened Belarus’s already strained relations with the European Union and further isolated it on the world stage.
The Swedish plane dropped about 800 toy bears near the town of Ivenets and near the capital Minsk, each carrying a message
urging Belarus to show greater respect for human rights.
Police dog catches baseball streaker
WISCONSIN: A man who went streaking after a baseball game at a Wisconsin college last week was arrested after a police dog found him hiding in the woods. According to the police report, the unidentified man — a 20-year-old from Philadelphia — was charged with disorderly conduct and underage drinking after he was nabbed near Kapco Park in Mequon.
The man ran the bases naked after a baseball game at Concordia University. When police arrived, the man ran into a heavily wooded area but canine officer Vero found him. He then said his shorts fell off and he was too embarrassed to pull them back up. Later, he admitted his friends were filming the ‘streaking’. That film was confiscated.
This is not the first time a K-9 was used to subdue a would-be ball field felon.
At a Dunedin Little League game in Florida in 1986, Thomas James Selbach, also 20, grabbed a glove from the dugout, wandered onto centre field and refused to leave, according to the Clearwater Times. More than 100 spectators watched as coaches, game umpires and police officers tried unsuccessfully to convince Selbach to leave the field. Then someone summoned Dunedin police officer Marcus Lane and his police dog Yankee to the scene. The officer released Yankee, who grabbed Selbach’s leg, bit his arm and brought him to the ground.
After being treated at an emergency room for bite wounds, Selbach was charged with disorderly conduct, assault and resisting
arrest, the paper said.