By Brian Tracey Business Editor
msnbc.com
COMMENTARY

Willie Sutton used to say he robbed banks because that’s where the money is.  For some would-be bank robbers, it’s apparently not that easy to find the cash.

Or at least that was the problem that thwarted three men who broke into a bank in northern Malaysia recently, tied a rope around what they thought was an ATM, attached it to two vehicles, and yanked the machine from its hinges. The trio managed to open the machine before being chased away by a security guard.

Through it all, however, the bank’s cash remained locked up tight. It turns out the thieves went after the wrong machine; the one they tried to snatch was filled with check deposits. The bank’s cash remained untouched in a separate machine that dispenses crisp new bills.

There was no word on how many deposit slips the thieves made off with.

Not so bad ideas

  • Tokyo's subway has refused permission for an advertising poster featuring a nude and heavily pregnant Britney Spears, branding it too "stimulating" for young people.

The picture of the pop singer — nude but covering her breasts with her arms and crossing her legs at the knee — appeared in the August issue of Harper's Bazaar and will be on the cover of the magazine's Japanese edition in October.

The publishers had hoped to display the cover photo for a week at a subway station in a trendy part of central Tokyo but ran into resistance.

"We thought some of our customers would find it to be overly stimulating," said a Tokyo Metro official.

Not all was lost. The Metro and the publishers agreed to display the poster after all, but masked the part of the picture below the former teen idol's elbow with a statement reading: "We apologize for hiding part of a beautiful image of a mother-to-be."

No apologies needed, we think.

  • Sweden's state broadcaster SVT on Monday faced ridicule for mistakenly showing a porn movie in the background of a news broadcast over the weekend.

Viewers of a 5-minute news update at midnight Saturday could see explicit scenes from a Czech porn movie on a TV screen behind news anchor Peter Dahlgren.

The monitor — one of many on the wall of a control room visible behind the studio — normally shows other news channels during broadcasts. But staffers who earlier in the evening had watched a sports event on cable channel Canal Plus — which often shows X-rated films after midnight — had forgotten to switch it back, said news director Per Yng.

"This is highly embarrassing and unfortunate," Yng said. "It must not happen again."

Swedish tabloids on Monday poked fun at the steamy broadcast, jokingly changing the name of the show — Rapport — to "Rapporn."

Here's an even better one: "Action News."

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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