Tall Tales

Santa Claus and Sarah Palin contest Alaska seat

And other stories from the stranger side of life

Sarah Palin delivering a speech

Sarah Palin and Santa Claus are among the candidates contesting Alaska’s special primary election. Palin, a former Republican vice presidential candidate, hopes to win the House seat that is open for the first time in nearly 50 years. So does Santa Claus, a 75-year-old North Pole councilman, described by CNN as “a portly, bearded Anglican monk who wears a red robe”. He changed his name from Thomas Patrick O’Connor in 2005.

Woman wins $5.2m payout after getting STD in car

A Missouri woman was awarded $5.2m in a settlement from an insurance company after contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD) in a vehicle that was insured by the company. The woman said she contracted human papillomavirus from the car’s owner through sexual acts in the vehicle in November and December 2017, The Mercury News reported. She submitted a petition to the company, GEICO, claiming that the “insurance policy provided coverage for her injuries and losses”.

Latin and French phrases ‘alienate people’

A government watchdog has told staff to avoid using Latin and French phrases such as “quid pro quo” and “ergo” because they may alienate their readers. The Telegraph said the “diktak” from the Information Commissioner’s Office has come in for criticism. Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey, said the advice is “pernicious” and simply serves to increase “the gap between the privileged and those who are less so”.

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