TORONTO (Wireless Flash) – Toronto police have egg on their faces after calling in the bomb squad to check out an alleged “pipe bomb” in a donut shop bathroom. The tape-covered cylinder turned out to be a sex toy.

JEANERETTE, La. – A school principal in Louisiana has kept her promise to jump out of a plane if her students improved their grades. Jeanerette Elementary head Althea Self took a 10,000 foot free fall with a skydiving instructor after her students passed their grade goals.

BRAINTREE, England – A chain of outlet shopping centers in England is giving Santa some muscles. The Freeport Leisure outlets will have bodyguards on hand for Santas this year to prevent kids from pulling, tugging and bruising St. Nick. The Santas will also wear “sumo-style thick padding” to protect their hides.

EDINBURGH, Scotland – A mutt who was sentenced to death for barking has been spared the executioner’s axe by Scotland’s highest court. The eight-year-old West Highland terrier was to be put down because his barking made neighbors complain, but instead authorities have simply found him a new home.

NEW YORK – A Frank Sinatra-singing Sheltie named Buddy is the winner of a singing pet contest that took place in New York yesterday. The pooch barked out his rendition of “New York, New York” to win a professional recording session and a years’ supply of Advantage flea killer.

OSLO, Norway – Toilet flushes are being turned into music by a Norwegian composer who is recording sounds from a sewage treatment plant in Oslo for his latest composition.

BANGKOK – Bangkok’s new international airport will try to top Malaysia’s record for having the world’s tallest air traffic control tower. Officials plan to build a 433 feet tower at the cost of $42.8 million.

BAN BO, Thailand – Thai officials are trying to stop the residents of a small village from eating salty dirt. For years, the folks in Ban Bo, Thailand, ate the dirt at a salt lick to stave off hunger pangs. Although conditions have improved, government officials are embarrassed that the natives now eat the dirt because they like the taste.

NEW YORK – Tom Cruise may soon be in a family feud with acting cousin William Mapother, who is getting good buzz for his villainous role in the upcoming thriller, In The Bedroom. The film’s producer, Fisher Stevens, says Mapother imitates so many of Cruise’s mannerisms that he predicts that Tom isn’t “going to be all that happy about being copied like that.”

CHICAGO – Santa Claus is being called to work early this year because a whopping 41 percent of kids have already written their Christmas lists. That’s according to a new survey by KidzEyes.com, which shows 28 percent of kids started their Christmas lists in September, while 13 percent started their list back in summer.