Liz Cheney’s Republican bid flops, bandits rob the Flash

This week’s top newsmakers

Rene Johnston/Toronto Star/Getty Images

Boujemaa Razgui

The most dangerous weapon, as far as the United States is concerned, is the flute. Or that’s what Razgui, a Canadian player of traditional Middle Eastern flute music, discovered when he tried to get into the U.S. with his hand-carved instruments. Because the flutes were made from bamboo, customs officials classified them as vegetation and destroyed them, leaving a bewildered Razgui to point out that guitars and other instruments are also made out of plants. The mix-up has robbed Razgui of his livelihood, but at least America is safe from the lurking bamboo menace.

Liz Cheney

2014 is going to be a big year for ultra-conservative upstarts challenging Republican incumbents in U.S. primaries. But one person who isn’t up to that challenge is the eldest daughter of former vice-president Dick Cheney, who on Monday dropped out of her bid to go up against Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi due to an unidentified “health issue.” Although Liz Cheney played up her conservative credentials—even stating an opposition to gay marriage despite her sister, Mary, being gay—she couldn’t catch on with fellow Republicans.

Chris Kluwe

“Two Cowards and a Bigot”: That was the provocative description the former Minnesota Vikings punter used for the three people he claims are responsible for his release from the team. In an article on the website Deadspin, Kluwe claimed he had been let go over his pro-gay activism. Kluwe spoke out against a proposed Minnesota amendment banning gay marriage, and claims that his coach and general manager told him to keep his mouth shut, while the special-teams coordinator used “homophobic language.”

Ty Warner

The creator of Beanie Babies, responsible for making so many children happy, had a miserable childhood, ironically. Or at least that’s what Warner says in arguing that he shouldn’t go to prison. Warner pleaded guilty last year to tax evasion, and faces up to four years behind bars. In his court filing, his lawyer argued that one of the mitigating circumstances should be the “unhappy family and a youth devoid of educational advantages” that Warner had as a child, with a mentally ill mother and distant father. If only he had had a Beanie Baby for comfort.

Jamie McDonald

All McDonald wanted to do was run across Canada dressed as the Flash to raise money for sick children. Instead, the British man was beaten and robbed in a hotel in Banff, Alta., on New Year’s Eve. He lost his money and the footage he had taken of his run, which has been ongoing since March. Banff officials say they still consider their town “a safe place to visit, and a fun place to visit.”

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