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Recurring Themes

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Least Competent Criminals: In March, Christopher Koch, 28, became the latest to wait outside a bank, building up his nerve to rob it, and then finally put on the ski mask and walk up to the front door (of the Citizens & Northern Bank, Liberty, Pa.), only to realize that it was by then 12:01 p.m., and the bank had closed at noon. (Employees got Koch's license plate number.)

Angelo Trujillo, 20, became the latest, in March, to attempt to rob someone who was pumping gas (at a Smith's store in Santa Fe, N.M.). The customer, Ms. Bernie Garcia, 83, calmly sprayed Trujillo with gasoline, sending him fleeing (but he was soon arrested).

That Sacred Institution: The Al-Shams newspaper in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, reported in March that Mohammed al-Rashidi, 11, had just married a cousin, who is 10, remarking: "I am ready for this marriage. It will help me study better."

And in April, in a courtroom in Sana'a, Yemen, a courageous 8-year-old girl walked in alone and demanded that the judge grant her a divorce from the 30-year-old man her father had contracted to marry her. The judge, rejecting tradition, granted the divorce.

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