Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends

Joshua Lee
5 min read
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Dateline: Massachusetts

Six former eBay employees were accused of mailing live cockroaches, a bloody pig mask, a funeral wreath and a book on surviving a spouse’s death to a Massachusetts couple who had criticized the tech company in an online newsletter. According to
Reuters US Attorney Andrew Lelling also accused the defendants of sending pornographic material to the couple’s neighbors in the couple’s name and conducted covert surveillance of their home. The attorney also claimed that the employees had taken part in cyberstalking the couple by sending threatening emails and Twitter messages along with the intimidating packages. Two of the six accused men were formerly employed as security executives at eBay—former senior director of safety and security James Baugh and former director of global resiliency David Harville. Both men were arrested last week. The alleged harassment campaign began after the unnamed couple published an online newsletter last August that was critical of a lawsuit filed by the company. According to court documents, one of the accused eBay executives texted the other, pointing out that the newsletter had just published a piece on the litigation. “If you are ever going to take her down,” he wrote, “now is the time. … I want her done. … She is a biased troll who needs to get burned down.” EBay told reporters that the company had terminated the defendants’ employment last year and issued a formal apology to the victims of the cyberstalking campaign. The company said an internal probe had investigated whether its chief executive at the time, Devin Wenig, had been involved in the incident. The company concluded that he had made “inappropriate” communications concerning the issue but hadn’t taken part in any of the alleged harassment or known about it beforehand. All six defendants were charged with conspiring to commit cyberstalking and conspiring to tamper with witnesses.

Dateline: Texas

American Olympic boxer Ginny Fuchs was cleared of doping charges earlier this month after officials determined that the illegal substances had been transmitted to her by her boyfriend during sexual intercourse. “I am very relieved that USADA understood how unique my case was in giving me a ‘no fault’ that allows me to resume my career immediately,” Fuchs said in a statement. “I had no idea that I could become contaminated by way of intimate contact with another person. I want to thank USA Boxing for believing in me and supporting me throughout these past few difficult months.” In March an out-of-competition urine test taken by Fuchs returned positive for trace amounts of two banned substances. According to the
Houston Chronicle, Fuchs discovered that her boyfriend had been taking the substances without her knowledge while they were having unprotected sex. In a statement, the US Anti-Doping Agency said it had consulted with an outside team of experts and concluded that the trace amounts found in Fuchs’ urine sample were consistent with sexual transmission and determined that she was telling the truth. Thanks to the decision, Fuchs will remain eligible to qualify for the 2021 Olympic Games as a flyweight.

Dateline: United Kingdom

Two airplanes became wedged together after colliding at a Scotland airport. According to
BBC News, no one was injured following an accident at Aberdeen International Airport last week in which the nose of a former Flybe passenger plane ended up wedged under the engine of a Loganair jet, lifting the second vehicle into the air. No passengers or crew members were aboard the Loganair airplane at the time of the collision. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is reportedly investigating the incident. A spokesman for Loganair told reporters, “A Loganair Embraer 145 regional jet, parked with no passengers or crew members aboard, was hit by a former Flybe Bombardier Q400 aircraft, which we understand was being prepared for departure after being stored at Aberdeen Airport. … The most important thing is that no one was injured in the incident, with the crew working on the ex-Flybe aircraft being safe and well, yet understandably shaken by the occurrence.” No further comment has been made by authorities.

Dateline: Washington

The longest hospitalized COVID-19 patient recently received a $1.1 million, 181-page bill from the hospital. Michael Flor
made headlines last month for his miraculous recovery following a 62-day stay at Swedish Medical Center in Issaquah, Wash. The Seattle Times reports that Flor came so close to death that at one point during his stay, nurses held a phone to his ear and allowed him to say goodbye to his wife and children. “He was as sick as you can get, with basically every organ system shutting down,” says Dr. Anne Lipke, a pulmonary and critical-care physician. But the 70-year-old man made an astounding recovery and was allowed to return home in May. Earlier this month Flor received the bill for his hospital stay and was shocked to see a $1,122,501.04 bill attached to a 180-page report explaining the charges. Luckily, Flor has insurance including Medicare, so he won’t have to pay the majority of the bill. “It was a million bucks to save my life, and of course I’d say that’s money well-spent,” he told reporters. “But I also know I might be the only one saying that.”

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

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