Vanishing lake and talcum-tracking dogs

Vanishing lake baffles Russians

Residents of a village in central Russia are trying to solve the mystery of a lake that disappeared overnight.  Russia's NTV channel showed a huge, muddy basin where the lake once was, in the village of Bolotnikovo.  "It looks like somebody has pulled the plug out of a gigantic bath," said the TV's correspondent, next to a deep debris-filled hole.  Local officials in Nizhny Novgorod region say the lake was probably sucked into an underground cave. The name of the village - which lies about 250 km (155 miles) east of Moscow - roughly translates as "boggy".

Powder mix-up fools sniffer dogs

A team of Australian drug sniffer dogs has been sent back for retraining, after it was found they could only track talcum powder, not cocaine.  Melbourne police found that the white powder used to hone the dogs' nostrils was not in fact an illegal substance.  A probe is now under way to see whether any illicit drugs have gone missing.  "They're very good at detecting talcum powder," joked Assistant Commissioner Paul Evans. "If there's any missing kids, we'll find them fairly quickly."  The seven dogs had been in training since January.  They are meant to sit down next to a person, when they detect the scent of cocaine.  Unfortunately, the dogs have yet to smell the drug, since the bag of white powder supplied by the Australian Federal Police for the canine training turned out to be talcum powder.  Police in Victoria have launched an inquiry to see whether any cocaine has gone missing.
There is no word on how long it will take to break the dogs' talcum habit and retrain them to react only to cocaine.

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