MOSCOW - A Russian court ordered a maternity hospital to pay two families about $100,000 apiece on Mondayfor mixing up their newly born daughters 12 years ago.
The twist of fate was uncovered by a genetic test for alimony proceedings that showed the astounded parents of one of the children that the girl they had brought up since birth was not in fact their biological daughter.
"You cannot imagine our feelings," the parents of the two girls were quoted as saying by Rossiiskaya Gazeta newspaper. "The lawyers for the defendant insisted right to the end that there had been no loss for us."
The mix-up is thought to have occurred partly because the girls' mothers had similar surnames beginning with four identical letters and gave birth at the same ward just 15 minutes apart.
Local media said the two daughters will stay with their current families but that their parents are trying to find a way to move closer so that the girls can visit their biological parents.
As the local maternity hospital does not have the funds to pay the parents, the local authority will have to foot the bill, local media said. - Reuters
Elite Polish cops sacked for protecting Paris Hilton
WARSAW - Protecting Paris Hilton on the side could put you in danger of losing your real job.
Three Polish police commandos will lose their posts in an elite anti-terrorist unit for serving as bodyguards for the controversial celebrity during a recent visit to Poland.
"If the policemen who protected Hilton do not leave on their own by the end of the week, they will be disciplinary fired," Dariusz Biel, the head of the regional police where the three serve, was quoted as saying this week.
Members of the anti-terrorist unit usually conceal their faces and must seek permission for any outside work.
The three commandos, who appeared in various photos on gossip sites with the blond hotel heiress, were also said to have carried their police weapons when they served as Hilton's bodyguards during her appearance at an opening of a shopping mall in Katowice, in southern Poland. - Reuters
Swedish rally driver not fast enough for son's birth
STOCKHOLM - Swedish rally driver Per-Gunner Andersson is known for his speed behind the wheel, but he wasn't fast enough this weekend when his wife had to give birth in their car on the way to hospital.
"It was a little strange," Andersson, 31, told the online edition of tabloid Expressen on Monday.
His wife went into labor in the middle of the night on Friday and the couple rushed to the hospital in their BMW. But after half-an-hour they realized they would not make it in time and called an ambulance to meet them on the shoulder of the highway.
"I was pretty calm but when the baby comes out you do want a little assistance," Andersson said.
The ambulance arrived just in time and their son Alvin was born a minute later without any complications.
"He was healthy and fine," he said.
Andersson, a junior world rally champion in 2004 and 2007, placed seventh in the 2011 Rally of Sweden.
Given his son's start in life, Andersson joked that he may also be a future rally driver.
"He seems to have it in his genes." - AFP
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