Odd Side – July 16, 2019

Beagles Sniff Out Snails in Luggage at Atlanta Airport

ATLANTA (AP) – Two dogs, part of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s “beagle brigade,” sniffed out two Giant African Snails in the luggage of a passenger arriving at Atlanta’s airport from Nigeria.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the beagles, named Candie and Chipper, were alerted to the passenger’s checked bags at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Friday. A Customs agriculture specialist found the snails in a suitcase, along with prohibited fruits and vegetables.

The snails were turned over to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, while the food was destroyed. The USDA’s website says such snails are illegally imported for classroom exhibits as pets or for food. They’re also described as “one of the most damaging” in the world because they consume at least 500 types of plants, reproduce quickly, and can cause meningitis.

Postal Service Returning Decade-Old Stolen Hawaii Mail

HONOLULU (AP) – The U.S. Postal Service says it has found mail stolen in Hawaii more than a decade ago.

KHON reported Monday that the family of a now-deceased postal worker discovered the stolen mail inside a storage unit and turned them over to officials.

The postal service says the stolen mail is being sent back in the next couple of days. The mail dates back about 13 to 15 years ago.

The stolen mail was mostly First-Class and Priority Mail and newspapers and magazines.

Officials haven’t identified the postal worker or his or her route. Most of the mail belonged to people living in the downtown Honolulu area.

The postal service says stolen mail that’s returned will have a label explaining the item’s delay and a number to call.

Swiss Government Says Coffee ‘Not Essential,’ Stockpiling to End

ZURICH (Reuters) – Switzerland announced plans to abolish the nation’s emergency stockpile of coffee, in place for decades, after declaring the beans not vital for human survival, though opposition to the proposal is brewing.

Nestle, the maker of instant coffee Nescafe, and other importers, roasters and retailers are required by Swiss law to store bags of raw coffee. The country stockpiles other staples, too, such as sugar, rice, edible oils and animal feed.

This system of emergency reserves was established between World War I and World War II as Switzerland prepared for any potential shortages in case of war, natural disaster or epidemics.

According to the plan released for public comment, coffee stockpiling obligations would expire by the end of 2022, with companies free to draw down what they store in their warehouses.

“The Federal Office for National Economic Supply has concluded coffee … is not essential for life,” the government said. “Coffee has almost no calories and subsequently does not contribute, from the physiological perspective, to safeguarding nutrition.”

A final decision on scrapping coffee stockpiles is expected in November.