Italian Court Orders Tweety Bird, Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck Testify
ROME, Italy (AP) — Tweety may get a chance to take the witness stand and sing like a canary. An Italian court ordered the animated bird, along with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and his girlfriend Daisy, to testify in a counterfeiting case. In what lawyers believe was a clerical error worthy of a Looney Tunes cartoon, a court in Naples sent a summons to the characters ordering them to appear Friday in a trial in the southern Italian city, officials said.
The court summons cites Titti, Paperino, Paperina, Topolino — the Italian names for the characters — as damaged parties in the criminal trial of a Chinese man accused of counterfeiting products of Disney and Warner Bros. Instead of naming only the companies and their legal representatives, clerks also wrote in the witness list the names of the cartoons that decorated the toys and gadgets the man had reproduced, said Fiorenza Sorotto, vice president of Disney Company Italia.
“Unfortunately they cannot show up, as they are residents of Disneyland,” Sorotto joked in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. [via ASSOCIATED PRESS]
PREDATORS AMONG US: South American Super-Rat Spotted In South Jersey
NEWARK, N.J. – It’s not the Jersey Devil, but its reputation is just as bad. A 20-pound rodent that scientists say is one of the world’s worst invasive species has been spotted in New Jersey. State Fish and Wildlife biologist Andrew Burnett told the Newark Star-Ledger he saw one nutria swimming in Salem County’s Lower Alloways Creek Township in late October. The critters are native to Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. But they’ve been showing up in North America. Burnett says nutria eat vegetation, causing animals and fish to lose their habitats. State wildlife officials are asking people who spot nutrias to report them so they can determine whether they’re colonizing in the state. [via ASSOCIATED PRESS]
GAMBLOR: Nutter Rips State Supreme Court Decision On Sugarhouse
Philadelphia’s soon-to-be mayor, Michael Nutter, is blasting the ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court that will allow the Sugarhouse Casino to move ahead. Nutter had harsh words for the high court ruling on Tuesday, which essentially said that City Council had no right to delay zoning approval of Sugarhouse. The justices gave the slots parlor permission to move ahead. Nutter says this strikes at the very right of any Pennsylvania city to handle zoning: “All of the municipalities across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania should be very concerned about this particular ruling. Let’s put aside for a minute the underlying issue. I think this goes to the heart of what it means to be a government in Pennsylvania.” And Nutter thinks the high court is overstepping its bounds: “I am perplexed to understand how the courts are now in the zoning and permit issuance business. I thought that was the primary purview of local municipal governments.” [via KYW]