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The Odd Truth, July 23, 2003

The Odd Truth is a collection of strange but factual news stories from around the world compiled by CBSNews.com's Brian Bernbaum. A new collection of stories is published each weekday. On weekends, you can read a week's worth of The Odd Truth.

Lend Me Your Ear, Literally

ATHENS - Doctors reattached a 47-year-old man's ear Tuesday after a chunk was bitten off during a fight at a coffee shop on the Greek island of Crete, police said.

Manolis Aerakis slotemaker amsterdam was hospitalized in the Cretan city of Iraklion after allegedly fighting with a 26-year-old man over who would take home a bag of leftovers for their dog.

The suspect escaped arrest.

Customers at the coffee shop packed the piece of Aerakis' ear in ice and accompanied him to the hospital.

Flight Risk

FORT MYERS, Fla. - A 24-year-old man on trial for allegedly selling cocaine bolted court during a break and never returned. He missed out on hearing the jury's innocent verdict.

Patre Eugene Williams was facing up to 30 years in prison if convicted of selling cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school. But Williams didn't stick around to hear his fate.

According to his defense attorney, John D. Mills, the state had concluded its case against Williams and it was time for his client to decide if he wanted to testify.

"He was undecided," Mills said Tuesday. "He asked the judge to take an afternoon break."

Circuit Judge James R. Thompson complied, but when the trial resumed, Williams couldn't be found.

Mills told the judge security officers said Williams left the courthouse. Thompson gave Williams 15 minutes to return, then said, "We're going to finish the trial without him."

The two sides presented closing arguments, and the jury returned after 30 minutes with the verdict.

Mills said he didn't expect Williams to face any consequences from leaving.

"The judge didn't issue a bench warrant" for his arrest, Mills said. "He wasn't in contempt of court. He just left."

Beefeater Tackles Naked Teen At Buckingham Palace

LONDON - Oh, my. A teenager has dropped his trousers at a Buckingham Palace garden party.

Some guests say he ripped off his jacket, pants, shoes and his boxers while pursued by Beefeater guards in ceremonial red tunics. Partygoers cheered as a Beefeater tackled the 17-year-old about 300 feet from Queen Elizabeth. No word on whether she saw him.

The youth was whisked away and questioned by police. He and his parents were later escorted from the palace grounds. Police say he wasn't drunk.

Members of the royal family at the party, attended by about 8,000 guests, included the queen and her husband, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, and Prince Edward and his wife, Sophie.

Hospital Worker Accidentally Cuts Off Newborn's Toe

ORLANDO, Fla. - An Orlando, Florida family says a hospital worker accidentally cut off a newborn baby's toe but the hospital says that's an exaggeration.

A spokesman for Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women says just the tip of the toe was cut off.

Still, spokesman Joe Brown calls it "a very unfortunate accident." He says the hospital is looking into the matter.

It happened Monday, as a hospital worker removed a security sensor so that newborn Amirona Simmons could go home. The baby was delivered over the weekend.

The family says doctors at another hospital reattached the toe and are waiting to see if it heals properly.

Locksmith's Lock Picked

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A locksmith's lock apparently wasn't too tough for a burglar to bust.

A thief broke into the Charles Town Lock & Key store over the weekend and stole keymaking equipment, master keys and a set of key codes with about 50 corresponding business names, Charles Town Police said.

Master key systems are used by businesses to create keys that give personnel access to restricted areas, locksmith Aaron Greenburg said. He said residential locks were not affected.

The burglar has "got to be somebody who knows about locksmithing, because they knew exactly what to take," said owner Marylou Hill.

Store employees are warning affected businesses of heightened security risks.

"They're all going to have to be rekeyed," Greenburg said.

Sex On The Beach Isn't Just A Drink

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KAVOS, Greece - Sex on the Beach isn't just a wild cocktail it's also an investigation in Greece. Prosecutors in Kavos say they're looking into complaints that six British tourists engaged in public sex during a beach party. Officials say a local resident took pictures of the oral sex acts and turned the photos over to the authorities. The snapshots are said to show three couples performing on a small wooden platform, with about a dozen people watching. Some edited versions of the sex photos have even been shown on Greek newscasts.

Greece To Increase Brothel Permits For Olympics

STOCKHOLM - Seven Nordic and Baltic ministers expressed their "abhorrence" Wednesday over Greek plans to increase the number of brothel permits in Athens for the 2004 Olympic Games.

"It is with indignation and surprise that we have learned that Greece plans to increase brothel activities during the Olympics in Athens 2004. This will lead to more women being exploited and abused," ministers for gender equality in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania said in a joint letter to the mayor of Athens.

Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni said the city was simply enforcing a 1999 law that stipulated all brothels must have permits. Athens officials said they will issue a total of 230 permits. Only a "few dozen" brothels in the city are currently legal, officals said.

The country as a whole has a small and tightly controlled legal prostitution industry and a much larger underground one.

"In Athens as in the rest of Greece there are laws which foresee that you need a license to open this kind of establishment and what the city of Athens decided was to implement this law, that's all," said Bakoyianni was quoted by her press office as saying.

"We hope that we will manage to stop the expansion of the brothels, but also to start a discussion if this is in line with Olympic ideals, using women and girls in this way," Sweden's vice prime minister and minister for gender equality Margareta Winberg told The Associated Press Wednesday.

Greece's powerful Orthodox Church last month accused Athens city authorities of seeking to increase the number of prostitution licenses in the capital before the games.

Clinton Haters To Open Counter-Library

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Just a few blocks from the future site of Bill Clinton's $160 million presidential library, a couple of Clinton haters hope to open a museum devoted to mocking his presidency.

"As long as he's talking, we'll have to be here trying to keep him somewhat honest and stop him from rewriting history," says John LeBoutillier, a former Republican congressman from New York who rode Ronald Reagan's coattails to victory in 1980.

LeBoutillier and his partner, Houston businessman Richard Erickson, plan to call it the Counter-Clinton Library. They say the museum here and one planned for Washington will look at such topics as the Whitewater scandal, Monica Lewinsky, the last-minute pardons, even damaged White House furniture.

"We already hear he's going to bring a bunch of egghead economists to his library to say how great the economy was when he was president," LeBoutillier says. "And we'll find our own who can say it had nothing to do with him."

The two partners hope to open their place the same day that Clinton's opens in November 2004. They say they will need $5 million. LeBoutillier says thousands of donations have come in and the average one is $72, but he will not say exactly how much has been raised so far.

Dick Morris, the Clinton strategist who resigned in a sex scandal, has pledged stacks of his insider documents, as has Gary Aldrich, the former FBI agent who wrote a best seller about Clinton's scandals.

"We think people will want to come out of the Clinton Library and head immediately down the street to us to get the rest of the story," LeBoutillier says.

2003 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-odd-truth-july-23-2003/

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