Alibi V.28 No.29 • July 18-24, 2019 

Odds & Ends

Odds and Ends

Dateline: Russia

The Russian Orthodox church is considering a ban on blessing weapons of mass destruction. According to Religion News Service, Russian Orthodox priests have been blessing military weapons since the Kremlin’s seizure of Crimea in 2014. Priests have reportedly blessed S-400 surface-to-air missiles, nuclear submarines, tanks and fighter jets for the Russian military. But last month the Russian Orthodox Church committee on ecclesiastical law suggested priests should discontinue the practice and bless soldiers instead of weapons of mass destruction. “One can talk about the blessing of a warrior on military duty in defense of the fatherland,” said bishop Savva Tutunov. “At the end of the corresponding ritual, the personal weapon is also blessed—precisely because it is connected to the individual person who is receiving the blessing. By the same reasoning, weapons of mass destruction should not be sanctified.” The committee's proposal has yet to be approved by Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. Kirill has reportedly described Russia’s military campaign in Syria as a “holy war.” In 2007, the Church publicly consecrated Russia’s nuclear arsenal.

Dateline: India

An Indian man woke up at his own funeral just before being buried. One India reports that Mohammad Furqan of Lucknow was pronounced dead on July 1 following an accident in late June. He was sent home in an ambulance earlier this month. Family members had prepared a grave for the young man but were shocked when the body arrived and showed signs of life. According to witnesses, Furqan seemed to be breathing, and there was movement in his limbs. He was immediately rushed to the hospital where doctors said he was in critical condition but very much alive. He was placed on a ventilator. According to Furqan's brother, Mohammad Irfan, doctors at a private hospital pronounced the man dead after family members informed them that they'd run out of money to pay for treatment. Lucknow Chief Medical Officer Narendra Agarwal told reporters that officials are investigating the incident to determine what happened. It is unclear whether Furqan was alive when doctors pronounced him dead or if the private hospital that first treated him is guilty of any wrongdoing.

Dateline: United Kingdom

A grandfather accidentally gave a marijuana-laced cake as a thank you gift to nurses at a hospital in Warrington, England. BBC News reports that the hospital staff had recently treated one of the man's family members and he delivered a red velvet cake to them as a sign of gratitude. Employees reportedly noticed an odd odor coming from the cake, however, and reported the incident to police, who confiscated the dessert. It was confirmed that the cake did indeed contain marijuana, and it was destroyed. One staff member reportedly ate a small portion of the cake, but suffered no ill effects. According to a statement from Warrington and Halton Hospitals, the facility is “working with staff to exercise caution on receiving edible gifts.” Hospital authorities said there were no issues related to the cake that compromised patient care. Cheshire Police said it was determined that the man had been unaware that the cake—which had been left over from his grandson's birthday party—contained marijuana. No action was taken, but officers reportedly gave the man's grandson “strong words of advice.”

Dateline: Illinois

A mother was arrested after allegedly allowing her children to ride inside an empty pool on the roof of her SUV. According to WREX in Illinois, police in Dixon received a report of the incident from a concerned citizen who witnessed two children riding in an empty pool on top of an Audi Q5. Police pulled the vehicle over and spoke with the driver, Jennifer A. Janus Yeager, who told them that she'd driven into town to inflate the pool at a friend's house and had instructed her two daughters to ride inside it on the way home to weigh it down. Yeager was reportedly arrested on two counts of endangering the life or health of a child, two counts of reckless conduct and failure to secure a passenger between 8 and 16. She was released from custody after posting bond.

Dateline: Missouri

A Kansas City woman was arrested for allegedly firing a handgun outside a DMV—reportedly because the line was too long. The Kansas City Star reports that Vanessa D. Richey entered the Platte County DMV office in Missouri last week and allegedly became angry after finding a long line and being told by an employee that she would have to wait for her turn to be helped. According to witnesses, she cursed at the employee, knocked a printer off the counter and told the employee that she was going to get a gun. She left the office, pulled a handgun out of her bag, fired a shot into the ground and then sat in her vehicle, according to prosecutors. A retired Kansas City police officer who happened to be in line during the incident reportedly followed Richey to her car and held her at gunpoint with the help of another bystander until police arrived. She was arrested and charged with making a terrorist threat and unlawful use of a weapon. Richey is currently being held in the Platte County Detention Center.

Compiled by Joshua Lee. Email your weird news to josh@alibi.com.