Following is a summary of current odd news briefs.
Tea cozies and pencil sharpening vye for oddest book title award
LONDON (Reuters) - A guide to sharpening pencils and a craft manual about how tea cozies changed the world are among a shortlist of books released on Friday that are competing for the Oddest Book Title of the Year award. The shortlist in the 35th annual Diagram Prize also includes a study of Adolf Hitler's health by Henrik Eberle and Hans-Joachim Neumann titled "Was Hitler Ill?" and "Lofts of North America: Pigeon Lofts" by Jerry Gagne.
Detroit named most miserable U.S. city in Forbes ranking
NEW YORK (Reuters) - With its violent crimes, high unemployment, dwindling population and financial crisis, Detroit was named on Thursday as the most miserable city in the United States. It toppled Miami, which held the title last year, and surpassed Flint, Michigan, Rockford and Chicago in Illinois and Modesto, California, which rounded out the five most unhappy urban areas.
Crisis forces Greeks to skimp on weddings, funerals
ATHENS (Reuters) - Fewer Greeks are walking down the aisle as their country's deep economic crisis takes a toll on their famously lavish weddings, an age-old ritual that has become an unbearable cost for those struggling to make ends meet. Religious wedding ceremonies in bell tower chapels overflowing with flowers, meter-high candles and candy wrapped in tulle, are a deeply ingrained tradition in Greece, where the powerful Orthodox Church plays an influential role in society.
"Keep your so-called workers," U.S. boss tells France
PARIS (Reuters) - The CEO of a U.S. tire company has delivered a crushing summary of how some outsiders view France's work ethic in a letter saying he would have to be stupid to take over a factory whose staff only put in three hours work a day. Titan International's <TWI.N> Maurice "Morry" Taylor, who goes by "The Grizz" for his bear-like no-nonsense style, told France's left-wing industry minister in a letter published by Paris media that he had no interest in buying a doomed plant.
Britain to India: Diamond in royal crown is ours
AMRITSAR, India (Reuters) - British Prime Minister David Cameron says a giant diamond his country forced India to hand over in the colonial era that was set in a royal crown will not be returned. Speaking on the third and final day of a visit to India aimed at drumming up trade and investment, Cameron ruled out handing back the 105-carat Koh-i-Noor diamond, now on display in the Tower of London. The diamond had been set in the crown of the current Queen Elizabeth's late mother.
Florida man charged with harassing manatee after posting photos
MIAMI (Reuters) - A Florida man posted photos on Facebook showing himself hugging a baby manatee and was arrested on charges of harassing the endangered sea cow, wildlife officials said on Wednesday. A tipster saw the photos and alerted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which arrested Ryan William Waterman on a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.
Mike the fearless brown bear shot by Swiss gamekeepers
ZURICH (Reuters) - A brown bear dubbed Mike by its fans has been shot and killed by gamekeepers in a mountainous border region in southeastern Switzerland after several run-ins with locals, Swiss officials said on Wednesday. How to deal with the bear, known as M13 by authorities, had sparked controversy between gamekeepers and environmentalists far outside the Graubuenden canton, which borders on Italy and Austria and where the animal was most often spotted.