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Hello Miscreant Thai police officers who break rules will be forced to wear hot pink armbands featuring “Hello Kitty,” the Japanese icon of cute, as a mark of shame. Officers caught littering, parking in a prohibited area or arriving late � among other misdemeanors � will be forced to stay in the division office and wear the armband all day, said Police Colonel Pongpat Chayaphan in Bangkok. The officers won’t wear the armband in public, he said. The striking armband features Hello Kitty sitting atop two hearts. “This new twist is expected to make them feel guilt and shame and prevent them from repeating the offense, no matter how minor,” Pongpat said. “[Hello] Kitty is a cute icon for young girls. It’s not something macho police officers want covering their biceps,” Pongpat said. He added that police caught breaking the law will be subject the same fines and penalties as any other members of the public. “We want to make sure that we do not condone small offenses,” Pongpat said, predicting that getting tough on petty misdemeanors would lead to fewer cases of more serious offenses, including abuse of power and mistreatment of the public by police officers. Hello Kitty, invented by Sanrio Co. in 1974, has been popular for years with children and young women. The celebrity cat adorns everything from diamond-studded jewelry, Fender guitars and digital cameras to lunch boxes, T-shirts and stationery. � Associated Press He was called, but wasn’t chosen Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City was dismissed on his second day of jury duty recently, after attorneys passed him up while choosing a panel to hear a personal injury case. Had the billionaire mayor been chosen, he would have become the second sitting mayor in a row to be part of a jury in a city that no longer allows occupation-related exemptions. His predecessor, Rudy Giuliani, was the foreman on a jury in a landlord-tenant dispute during his second term in 1999. “I didn’t take it personally,” Bloomberg told reporters back at City Hall. “I don’t take any pride in not being picked or dissatisfaction either way. It is what it is, and it’s what makes this country and its judicial system work.” Bloomberg stood out as the only prospective juror wearing a suit, for his security detail and for the many prospective jurors who angled for an autograph or a word with the mayor. Still, a number of the prospective jurors pronounced Bloomberg as normal as anyone else. “He seems sort of regular, detached � there’s not a big fuss,” said Peter Walsh. “That’s typical of New Yorkers.” � Associated Press Feeling lucky? A crime victim chose to appear on the Ohio Lottery’s television game show rather than testify at a robbery trial, and prosecutors said that as a consequence they were forced to allow the suspect to plead guilty to lesser charges. James Finch, 41, of Akron, Ohio, was supposed to be the key witness in the case against William Archibald, 23, who faced felony aggravated robbery and kidnapping charges. Instead, Finch opted to travel to Columbus, Ohio, to take a chance on winning $50,000 on the Ohio Lottery game show Make Me Famous, Make Me Rich. Finch, who won $1,366 on the show, said he was disappointed the judge wouldn’t delay the trial to accommodate the television show’s taping schedule. “They put me in a spot where I either go on the game show or go to court,” Finch said. “How many times do you get a chance to go on TV to win money like that? It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance, and they kind of tied my hands in court.” � Associated Press

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