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Bulldog at the wheel

London, Dec. 21 (Reuters): British television presenter Johnny Vaughan says his pet dog crashed his sports car in a bizarre accident, the Sun newspaper reported.

The tabloid said Vaughan’s bulldog nudged his £60,000 Maserati into gear and stepped on the accelerator — sending it flying into a van. “I was too shocked to be angry,” Vaughan, who presents a BBC chat show, was quoted as saying in the tabloid. “I couldn’t believe my dog crashed my car.”

Vaughan said the crash happened after he stopped to check on his dog Harvey as he drove him home from a veterinarian’s practice in southwest London.

Santa woes

Florida (Reuters): Santa Claus is running behind on reading his mail this year, pushing things right up to the very last minute. His elves have all bolted and he has also discovered the Internet, which eats up much of his evenings. In this case, Santa Claus is Jack James, 78, who for 34 years has read the 6,000 or so letters to Santa that end up in this subtropical Florida hamlet instead of the North Pole. The job is not as satisfying as it once was, James admits. Last year, in the wake of anthrax attacks that reached their victims through the postal service, he opened his letters wearing gloves and a breathing mask.

Hitler’s birth

Munich (Reuters): Adolf Hitler might have been born in Germany and not, as long believed, in the small Austrian border town of Braunau, Egon Fein, who has published Hitler’s Weg nach Nuernberg (Hitler’s path to Nuremberg), said. This could be an explosive issue for Germans and Austrians who have long tried to push Hitler’s nationality off onto each other.

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