News of the weird

This is an archived article that was published on in 2005, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

More compelling explanations: In April, Laura and Edmund Gerstein of Boca Raton, Fla., who want to save their beloved backyard grapefruit tree from the state's citrus canker eradication program, formally claimed immunity for the tree under a provision in the 1949 Geneva Conventions. The Gersteins pointed to a paragraph on protecting crops needed for civilians' survival during wartime, in that, said Edmund, ''As I understand it, (the U.S.) is in a state of war.'' (Responded a state Department of Agriculture spokesman, ''That tree will be coming down.'')

- Compiled by Chuck Shepherd