Odds and Ends – December 27, 2019 – January 9, 2020

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Ray of festive cheer: Santa feeds the fish in Berlin

Berlin (AP) — Santa has taken a dive in Berlin. A diver dressed as Father Christmas – and a companion dressed as an angel – descended into the tank at the Sea Life aquarium in Berlin on Thursday to offer the fish some seasonal cheer. The festive feeding of the sharks, rays and others has become an annual event at the aquarium, which is home to about 5,000 underwater creatures.

(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
(AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

 

Cats to be put on leashes to protect wildlife? EU says No

Brussels (AP) — Put domestic cats on a leash to better protect threatened birds and the environment? The European Union says that would deny mankind’s furry friend its unalienable right to roam. The EU’s executive said Thursday that it is “a strong defender of free movement rights — including of cats” and “categorically” denied it would ever force cats to be kept indoors or on a leash, as one scientific study suggests. Tilburg University scientists wrote in Oxford’s Journal of Environmental Law that free-ranging domestic cats “impact biodiversity through predation, disturbance, competition, disease and hybridization,” and added that the predatory impact is worse than often assumed. They argued that EU laws and directives could effectively force owners to keep them indoors or on a leash outdoors.

(AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)
(AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)

 

TSA finds gun-shaped toilet paper roller in bag at airport

Newark, N.J. (AP) — Transportation Security Administration agents at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty Airport uncovered a more decorative than deadly item when they checked a passenger’s carry-on. Agents on Tuesday thought there was a gun in the bag when they put it through the X-ray machine. However, a closer inspection revealed a gun-shaped toilet paper roller. The realistic replica gun was designed to spin paper instead of bullets. Travelers are not permitted to bring real or replica firearms through security checkpoints. TSA says it gave the man the option to place it in a checked bag, hand it off to a companion or surrender it. He decided to give it to TSA.

(Transportation Security Administration via AP)
(Transportation Security Administration via AP)

 

Oink oink, cha-ching: $3 million found in barrels of pork

Shelby, N.C. (AP) — Barrels of raw pork shoulder were riding fat in a tractor trailer pulled over by North Carolina deputies. Approximately $3 million in cash was recovered from the barrels Saturday, the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post Tuesday. The driver of the tractor trailer was accused of failing to maintain his lane and impeding the flow of traffic on Interstate 85. Deputies became suspicious of the truck when a K-9 alerted to the trailer, the post says. Deputies searched the tractor trailer and discovered the cash wrapped in plastic in the barrels. The money is believed to have been obtained from drug sales throughout the region and was headed to Mexico, Sheriff Alan Norman said. “It’s one of the largest U.S. currency seizures in Cleveland County history,” Norman told The Shelby Star. The Department of Justice has been called to assist in the investigation, according to the sheriff’s office.

(Cleveland County Sheriff's Office via AP)
(Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office via AP)