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Week of 16 Jun 2003

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Jack's Bizarre News of the World

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Sweden outraged at prostitution plans for Athens Olympics

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - The Swedish government lodged an official complaint with the International Olympic Committee and the Greek government about Athens' policy of allowing more brothels during the 2004 Olympic Games. Iceland has already complained to the IOC about the plans to authorize 30 more brothels during next August's games to meet extra demand. "It is most worrying to receive information that initiatives have recently been taken in your country, in the context of the preparations for the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004, that could be perceived as supportive of prostitution and brothel activities," said the letter sent by Swedish sports minister Mona Sahlin to Greek culture minister Evangelos Venizelos. "The Olympic Games were established to bring people together - not to degrade them," the letter added. "(I am therefore confident that you will take) the necessary measures to prevent prostitution from occuring or being encouraged during the Olympic Games in Athens of 2004." And the Swedish protest addressed to IOC President Jacques Rogge said: "We all have a shared intest in safeguarding the reputation of all that the Olympic Games symbolises." On Monday, the Greek Orthodox Church accused Athens' authorities of promoting "sexual tourism" for the Games in reaction to the proposal to relax prostitution laws. Prostitution is legal in Greece. Under Swedish law, offering sexual services is allowed, but buying such services is illegal, which leaves a certain ambiguity as to whether the proceeds of prostitution are above board or not.

Durian-flavored condoms sell well in Indonesia

JAKARTA (AFP) - Indonesian activists have sold durian-flavored condoms as part of a campaign to fight HIV/AIDS, a report said Friday. DKT Indonesia, an anti-AIDS organization, said it sold 150,000 condoms with the exotic flavor when the product was first launched last month, the Jakarta Post reported. "Probably only the new Harry Potter book beat us in terms of sale speed and volume," Teguh Budiono, the DKT product brand manager, was quoted as saying. Budiono said the group was targetting sales of 576,000 durian-flavored condoms in Indonesia by the end of this year. Durian is a popular Southeast Asian fruit even though some people find their smell obnoxious.

German Pensioner in Bid for Gallstone World Record

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German pensioner who had 3,110 gallstones removed says she hopes to have the feat recognized as a world record by the Guinness Book of Records. Ursula Kuschfeldt, 67, from Neustrelitz in eastern Germany, said she was galled when she heard recently that the removal of 831 stones from a Romanian was being hailed as the record mark. "I knew that wasn't right because I had 3,110 stones removed in an operation in 1981 and I can prove it," she said on Thursday. "The doctor said they threw a few away too." Gallstones are buildups that accumulate in the gall bladder, an organ that helps the body digest fats. Kuschfeldt said she now planned to inform Guinness of her tally, but that they would have to accept documentary evidence for the total figure cited. She stores the small brown and black lumps in a glass tube. "A few have been lost," she said. "Because I kept on having to get them out for friends, some wound up on the carpet and got hoovered up."

Nude Protest Against Running of the Bulls

PAMPLONA, Spain (Reuters) - Animal rights activists stripped naked to protest against the running of bulls through the streets of Pamplona, condemning one of Spain's most famous traditions as cruel to animals. Activists from all over Western Europe had planned to run nude along the route for the annual bull runs, but police in the northern Spanish city said the protest was unauthorized and blocked their way. About 20 men and women went ahead with the protest near the city center however, stripping completely. Some put on plastic horns or fake bull's heads. They were joined by scores of other protesters who kept on all or part of their clothing. "In the running of the bulls, you have terrified animals slipping and sliding along the cobbled stone streets. Many of them suffer from broken bones," said Sean Gifford, of the U.S.-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals group that organized the Saturday protest. "At the end of that terrified stampede, a gruesome death in the bullfighting ring awaits them," he said. "Forty thousand bulls are slaughtered in Spanish bullrings every year in the most horrific of ways. This is a tradition that needs to end." The ancient San Fermin festival began on Sunday, kicking off a week of celebrations that attract thousands of tourists from around the world.

Lightning strikes woman's tongue stud

A holidaymaker narrowly escaped death when lightning struck her tongue stud in an electrical storm. Becky Nyang, 26, was temporarily blinded, unable to talk and badly blistered by the bolt of electricity that surged through her body via the piercing. Ms Nyang, an airport worker from Reading, Berkshire, was on holiday in Corfu when she and a friend were caught in a downpour. A flash of lightning bounced off a nearby archway and hit her in the face, where it was conducted by the metal jewellery in her tongue. The charge was so hot it left her with blisters on her mouth, face and feet and she could not speak for three days. Ms Nyang, who said she feared she was going to die, must await tests from doctors at the Royal Berkshire Hospital before returning to work for Virgin at Heathrow. She told reporters: "All I could see was lightning, nothing else. "It hit me and everything was just bright blue. It zapped me frozen. "My body shook for about 10 minutes, although I didn't feel the pain until later." She added: "I know I was so close to losing my life and never seeing my family and friends again. "I have been given another chance and every second is precious."

Monkey Visits German Pizzeria, Vandalizes Toilet

BERLIN (Reuters) - An escaped circus monkey dropped into a pizzeria in a small German town and vandalized the ladies toilet even though the owner had tried to pacify the animal with salad and rolls. Franco Praino was standing in front of the counter of his pizzeria in the northern town of Lehre when "Lala," a one and a half foot tall Rhesus monkey, entered through the front door on Wednesday. Praino and a cook used lettuce to lure Lala into the women's toilet, where they fed the monkey rolls to keep it calm. But Lala broke a vase on the window, then tossed all the paper towels into the sink and turned on the tap, flooding both toilets, the kitchen, and part of dining room. Lala had escaped from its cage five days earlier at circus near Braunschweig, 6 miles away. Praino was due to accept a 5,000 euro ($5,700) reward for the animal's return. ($1=.8719 Euro)

Police On The Lookout For Unarmed But Potentially Dangerous Monkey named Jesus

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Green Bay police are on the lookout for a monkey named Jesus, who they say isn't armed but might be dangerous. Jesus dashed out the back door of a tavern where he and his owner are regulars, Lt. Mark Hellmann said Monday. Hellmann added, "It has no arms, can it really get that far? I mean, it can't open doors or anything. Poor little guy - can't even smell his own finger." Hellmann described Jesus as small, dark and hairy, but didn't know what species he is but thought he might be Hispanic due to his accent. The police department's humane officer said Jesus may try to harm people if he's scared and advised anyone who sees him use caution. "He's been known to lunge and bite asses" Jesus' master, who is currently unnamed, was quoted as saying.

Electrocution after pee near pole

A THAI man with a prosthetic leg was electrocuted when he urinated near a power pole on the side of a highway in Bangkok. The 27-year-old victim's father told police they had stopped their car near a toll booth during a rainstorm yesterday, after nature called. Transport officials told The Nation newspaper that the victim's prosthetic leg could have acted as a strong conductor of electricity at the spot, which was not an authorised parking zone. Thawil Phuengma, dean of engineering at King Mongkut's University of Technology said the man probably urinated on an uncovered ground line near the pole.

Homeless Macaque Lives with Homeless People in Siberia

The zoo of the Siberian city of Novosibirsk now has another animal - a macaque named Gosha, who has an interesting life story. When a small animal, Gosha had to leave the African continent, his homeland, and move over to the Russian town of Biysk, the Altay region. A rich family decided to have Gosha as their home pet. The macaque was a great entertainment for the family, when he was small, so he did not have any needs or troubles. However, the little pet soon turned out to be a big animal - a source of never-ending problems, so to speak. People settled the problem in a very simple way - they kicked the animal out of their house. The homeless monkey spent several months living with homeless people, until it was caught by the police. They took the monkey to a police station and taught him how to smoke and drink. Now the poor macaque will finally have an opportunity to lead a normal monkey life in the Novosibirsk zoo.

Kansas church plans flag burning protesting marriage rights for gay couples

(The Ottawa Citizen)Members of a radical American Baptist Church are coming to Ottawa planning to burn "Canada's fascist flag," to protest new marriage rights for gay couples. The Westboro Baptist Church, from Topeka, Kansas, is a passionately opposed to homosexuality and hosts a Web site called, www.godhatesfags.com . The group plans to be on Parliament Hill Friday, from noon to 1 p.m. With just over 10 members, they say they will bring a message that "Canadians are going to hell." "The whole nation has a filthy manner of life," Shirley Phelps-Roper, the attorney and daughter of the pastor, Fred Phelps, told the Citizen yesterday from Kansas. The RCMP said they are prepared to deal with all kinds of protests, but judge each one on a case by case basis. "You're allowed to express your feelings. If you're not infringing on the law, it's safe and not creating problems, you're allowed to be there," RCMP spokeswoman Nathalie Deschenes said. Ms. Phelps called Canada's police corrupt, but said her group will abide by all laws. "We don't expect to reform the devil. We are the messengers of the Lord, your god," Ms. Phelps said. There's also a Westboro Baptist Church in Ottawa, but they said yesterday they have no affiliation with the U.S. group. They just happen to share a name. "All sin is wrong," Pastor William Oosterman said yesterday, when asked about the planned protest. "We don't appreciate their approach." Pastor Oosterman said homosexuality is a sin, but said the U.S. church doesn't preach the love of God -- it only condemns the sin of homosexuality. The pastor said his church tries to help people reform. Threats to burn flags are not uncommon for the Topeka-based church. In 1999, the church gained national attention for burning a Canadian flag in front of the Supreme Court of Canada, to protest a Supreme Court ruling that the definition of common-law marriage must include same-sex couples. However, protesters needed advice from police on how to set the flag ablaze and their leader, Fred Phelps, failed to show up.

Teen Accuses Fiery Preacher of Soliciting Sex Act

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (AP) - July 4, 2003 A preacher who has spent years using a bullhorn to rile at passers-by on college campuses about "fornicators," "whores" and "sodomites" is accused by a 14-year-old boy of soliciting a sex act. The boy told police that the Rev. C. Stephen White, 40, of North Philadelphia offered him money to perform oral sex on him. White declined to comment at his arraignment Thursday, but defense lawyer J. Michael Considine Jr. said his client maintains he only asked the boy for directions. "In all the years I've known him, there's never been any hint ever of going to strip clubs, wanting to have sex with boys, looking at pornography or soliciting sex," Considine said. "I'm shocked and I believe that he is innocent." The boy told police that a stranger drove up beside him on the street in West Chester on June 26 and asked him if he new of any strip clubs or adult bookstores. Soon after that, the man offered to pay him to commit the act. The boy told police that he said no and walked away, then repeated the license plate number of the stranger's car to himself as he ran to his aunt's house. The license plate number was later traced to White, and the boy identified the man who approached him using White's driver's license photo. White was taken to Chester County Prison on Thursday after failing to post $100,000 cash bail. "Our concern is that because he is a reverend and deals with youth, there may be other victims out there," West Chester Police Detective Stan Billie said. Considine said White was in West Chester that day to discuss a lawsuit he has filed against the Philadelphia Police Department about several arrests for his preaching. Considine said the suit sought better training for police officers about how to handle that sort of situation. White has been a fixture on the University of Pennsylvania campus since the early 1990s and also preaches to passers-by at other campuses in Philadelphia and elsewhere. He was a prominent enough figure at Penn that the chaplain's office held a panel discussion about his methods in 1998. "Sometimes he would bring his own kids along with him," said Ian Sneed of the university's InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Center. "His son would try to be like Daddy, ranting and raving while holding a Bible." White also runs a youth ministry program in North Philadelphia, where neighbors said he distributed toys to children around Christmas and often held long basketball games in the ministry building.

Dumb Crime Dept.

PARIS (Reuters) - Armed with a toy pistol, a would-be robber picked himself an unlikely target in central Paris -- a gun shop. Staff at the Armurerie Gare de l'Est in the French capital immediately identified the weapon as harmless. The 26-year-old Mauritanian was subsequently arrested, Le Parisien newspaper reported on Friday. He was unlucky -- earlier this year a fake rocket launcher was successfully used in a break-out from a prison on the unruly Mediterranean island of Corsica. A member of staff at the gun shop confirmed there had been a robbery attempt, but declined to give further details.

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German fireman admitted committing more than 30 acts of arson so he could fight more fires, police in the southern town of Tuebingen say. "The man said he did it because he really enjoyed putting out fires," said Tuebingen police spokesman Josef Hoenes. Police said the 32-year-old had said he caused a series of mysterious fires in the area over a 12-year period, resulting in damage totaling around $172,000. He set fire to one particular sheep stall on three separate occasions. In nearly every instance the man helped combat the fires, police said. After concerns surrounding the man grew, police arrested him following two suspicious fires last week.

[Floyd County Times, 5-30-03]Anthony Scott Ward, 40, and Melissa Coleman, 27, were arrested in Prestonburg, Ky., following a Memorial Day incident at a playground (with kids nearby), in which Coleman was bound face down on a picnic table, being paddled by Ward with a boat oar, in what authorities described as consensual "foreplay." Police recovered a cache of bondage items from the couple, including ceremonial hoods, handcuffs, prosthetic sexual tools, ropes, chains, collars, clamps, vibrating devices, lubricants and a cattle prod.

Krommenie, The Netherlands (Ananova):A 44-year old Dutch motorist has stunned traffic police by drinking so much that their breathalyser crashed. The man, from Krommenie, had so much alcohol in his breath that the machine in Wormerveer first refused to work and then showed out of range. Some time later a police doctor gave the man, who has not been named, a blood test which showed the driver had seven times too much alcohol in his blood. Police, who had flagged the motorist down for erratic driving, say he claimed to have only drunk "four beers". A courts in Haarlem has since sentenced the man to a 15-month driving ban, a 600 fine and a two-week suspended jail sentence

Berlin, Germany (Reuters): A German flasher exposing himself to a woman in a forest was forced to run for cover when she set her three small pug dogs on him, police said on Friday. Police in the southern town of Straubing said the man, who was about 30, was naked when he surprised the 55-year-old woman with the dogs. "He had Bermuda shorts and a T-shirt in one hand and his private parts in the other," said police spokesman Klaus Pickel. The woman spurred the lap dogs into action, one of which bit the man on the calf before he fled through the trees. "The dog was too small to bite him anywhere else," said Pickel. The man is still on the loose.

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