The Envoy
  • Madeline Pulver. (Sydney Morning Herald)

    Editor's Note: This post has been updated since publication to reflect news developments.

    Sydney police have determined that the device from which an Australian teenage girl was freed Wednesday was not a bomb, but an elaborate fake, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

    Madeleine Pulver, 18, told police "a stranger wearing a balaclava had placed the device around her neck after breaking into her family's multimillion-dollar" home in the Sydney suburb of Mosman, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. She was freed by a bomb squad some ten hours later.

    New South Wales State Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Murdoch told journalists Thursday however that it had been determined the device was not a bomb, but an "elaborate" fake.

    "A very, very elaborate hoax as it turned out," Murdoch said Thursday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. "But it was made and certainly gave the appearance of a legitimate improvised explosive device."

    Read More »from Sydney teen freed by bomb squad; police determine bomb fake
  • Mubarak stands trial

    In an astonishing reversal of fortune, Egyptians watched ousted former dictator Hosni Mubarak wheeled on a gurney into a cage to face trial, along with his two sons, in a Cairo courtroom today.

    Mubarak, who was forced from office last February after 31 years in power, denied guilt on charges of ordering attacks that killed anti-government protesters last year.

    "I deny all these charges and accusations categorically," Mubarak said, the Washington Post's Leila Fadel and Ernesto Londono reported from the court room.

    Read More »from Mubarak stands trial
  • It's true that former Soviet republics have unwelcome experience with tanks in the streets of their capitals. But never before, it seems safe to say, has a political leader brought out the heavy artillery to protect the integrity of a bike lane.

    However, that's just what happened recently when Arturas Zuokas, the mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania, declared virtual war on automobiles crowding out bicycles in designated bike lanes.

    Zuokas, who was recently reelected to a second term, climbed into an armored personnel carrier turret to crush a Mercedes parked in a Vilnius bike lane. The resulting mayhem was, of course, captured for posterity on YouTube, in the video below.

    "In the past few days, expensive cars have been illegally parked in almost this exact place," the mayor says on the video.

    "What should the city do about drivers who think that they are above the law?" the narration continues. "It seems that a tank is the best solution."

    "Mayor Zuokas wanted his message to be loud and clear

    Read More »from Vilnius mayor mounts a tank to crush car parked in bike lane

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