#OddlyEnough: Greece Minister Refuses To Butt It Out

#OddlyEnough - Greece Minister News
Image used for representation only. Source: Reuters

When The Minister Says No:

Greece’s deputy health minister has told the European Union’s top health official to butt out after getting a reprimand for smoking in public, according to a report.

Deputy minister Pavlos Polakis was caught on video footage holding a cigarette while dancing in a club. He had also been photographed smoking at a news conference in 2016, says the Reuters report.

It drew a rebuke from EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, when he was in Athens. Andriukaitis said the practice was “shameful”.

Polakis, who is also a surgeon, said he was dealing with more pressing issues at the ministry than smoking. “Learn before you speak,” Polakis wrote on his Facebook account in a post addressed to Andriukaitis. “I’ll decide when to stop smoking, on my terms,” Polakis said.

Greece has the highest smoking rate in the European Union. It bans smoking in indoor public spaces, such as the nightclub where Polakis danced as red napkins fluttered around him.

The EU official, who was questioned by a daily newspaper frequently critical of the outspoken minister, also complained the health ministry smelt of cigarettes and that nobody wore ties.

USB Stick Found In Slab Of Seal Poo

Digging deep into a slab of seal faeces revealed a strange secret to scientists in New Zealand, says a report.

The scientists say they have found a USB memory stick containing holiday photos inside a frozen slab of seal poo, according to a Reuters report.

The scat, valuable for studying the health of leopard seals, had been stored in a freezer for a year before it was thawed out for analysis, the researchers said.

“Concealed deep inside the scat was a USB stick,” the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research said on its website.

The stick was in good condition, “considering where it had come from”, and the researchers let it dry out for a few weeks.

Cocaine Concealed In Prosthetic Leg

The discovery of cocaine inside a Virginia inmate’s prosthetic leg has led to an investigation into a suspected drug distribution operation at that jail, says a report.

The Free Lance-Star said officers acting on a tip about drugs stashed in a Rappahannock Regional Jail cell located the 3 to 7 grams of cocaine inside the prosthesis, says an AP report. The search warrant affidavit lists the name of the leg’s owner, but the newspaper isn’t printing it because he hasn’t been charged in the case.

He was already jailed on marijuana possession charges.

The affidavit says his girlfriend collected drug payments from other inmates via the Cash App mobile service. It’s still not clear how the drugs got into the jail.

The girlfriend is currently jailed on unrelated drug charges.

Chickening Out On A Robbery Attempt

A man in the US took the next best thing after failing to rob a fast-food joint, says a report.

New Orleans police say the man entered a fast-food restaurant and tried to swipe some cash but couldn’t open the register so he made off with some fried chicken instead, according to an AP report.

NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reported the man entered the Popeyes in eastern New Orleans and tried to steal money from the register.

But police say the register wouldn’t budge so he grabbed some fried chicken and fled.

Police arrested 27-year-old Phillip Lee a short time later in the area. He faces charges of simple robbery and simple battery.

Insurance Fraud Man Lands in Jail

Trying to claim insurance money by faking a fall is never easy as a man in the US found out, says a report.

Police have arrested the New Jersey man who they say faked a slip and fall at a business to get insurance money, says the AP report.

Prosecutors say the 57-year-old Randolph man was subcontracted to work at a company in Woodbridge when he faked the fall.

Authorities say surveillance video captured the man grabbing ice and throwing it on the floor before lying down.

They say the man waited until he was discovered, and then he filed an insurance claim for hospital treatment.