Following is a summary of current odd news briefs.
Encana apologizes for executive's cursing on conference call
CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Encana Corp <ECA.TO>, Canada's largest natural gas producer, apologized on Thursday because one of its executives cursed after an analyst asked about whether new Canadian investment rules would prohibit its takeover by foreign state-owned entities. When asked the question by Canaccord Genuity analyst Phil Skolnick, interim CEO Clayton Woitas said: "The answer would be no." Then, in a whispered comment that was clearly audible on a replay of the call, someone can be heard saying, "fucking asshole."
One-man bank keeps German village business running
GAMMESFELD, Germany (Reuters) - Peter Breiter, 41, is an unusual banker. Not for him the big bonuses, complicated financial instruments and multi-million deals. He is happy instead writing transaction slips out by hand for the 500 inhabitants of the tiny southern German village of Gammesfeld.
Captain Cook's pistol fetches $227,000 at auction
SYDNEY (Reuters) - A pistol owned by British explorer Captain James Cook, who first claimed Australia for Britain nearly two and half centuries ago, sold on Thursday for A$219,600 ($227,100), above the top estimate set by auctioneers. The brass pistol, an early 18th century Continental Flintlock holster pistol with a 13-bore barrel made by Dutch gunmaker Godefroi Corbau Le Jeune, had a pre-sale estimate of A$100,000 to A$200,000.
Emu heist baffles Australian wildlife park
SYDNEY (Reuters) - The theft of a fully-grown emu from an Australian wildlife park this week has left only a pile of feathers at the scene of the crime, and questions about the motive for snatching an ungainly bird with practically no cash value. Operating under cover of darkness, robbers are believed to have lifted the flightless bird - second only to the ostrich in size and known for its speed, powerful legs and clawed feet - over electrified barbed wire atop a two-meter fence, eluding a guard and a security camera.