A pair of 40-something California men were on a gay cruise in the Caribbean this week when police boarded their ship while it was docked in Dominica and arrested them for indecent exposure and "buggery," which is what they call sodomy there. Yesterday morning they pleaded guilty and agreed to pay a $900 fine after a Dominican magistrate called them "rogues and vagabonds."
What's up today in India? "India, the land of Mohandas Gandhi, known for its Hindu belief in the sanctity of life, is anything but gun-shy. Rising incomes have made high-end weapons a new form of bling, and rising crime and memories of Mumbai's 2008 terrorist attack have left Indians eager to be armed and dangerous," The Los Angeles Times reports. There are still only 3 guns for every 100 people in India, compared to 89 for every 100 Americans, though. [LATimes, image of Indian gun factory via AP]
Ooh boy. Here's a quote that speaks volumes, from Reuters' article about Iran's morality police "cracking down" on the sale of Barbie dolls, which is forbidden. Stores have been instructed to sell Iran's specially-designed, ultra-demure Sara and Dara dolls instead, to the disgust of the superficial girl tykes of Tehran:
As promised, the island nations of Samoa and Tokelau will jump 24 hours into the future tonight, when the international date line is revised to facilitate Samoan trade with Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. (American Samoa will stay on Hawaii's side of the line.) When 18,600 Samoans and 1,500 Tokelauans go to bed tonight, it will be a Thursday. When they awake, it will be Saturday.
Speaking of youth-obsessed Russian leader, bad husband, and likely ballot-stuffer Vladimir Putin, have you looked at his face lately? Rumors about Putin's plastic surgery have been floating around since September, but his face keeps getting stranger. At a recent elections-related appearance, he looked like Rachel Zoe. Fillers, I'm thinking, plus Botox on the forehead.
A mysterious "forest boy" presented himself at Berlin City Hall two weeks ago. The first words he spoke were English: "I'm alone in the world. I don't know who I am. Please help me." He is believed to be 17, and to have spent the last five years sleeping on the ground in a forest. His identity is a mystery.
The Scottish government recently imported 14 sea eagles from Norway, to reintroduce the giant bird of prey into the wilds of Scotland. Unfortunately, they chose areas not quite wild enough, according to the Scottish Gamekeepers Association, which is calling for an inquiry into the feathered monsters with wingspans of up to eight feet:
A "mischievous magician" and his two assistants are reportedly in police custody in southwestern Colombia after a "mass hypnosis" session that led to the hospitalization of 75 schoolchildren, according to a regional radio station. Parents of the afflicted students of the Institución Educativa Ciudad Mocoa have asked authorities to allow the magician to visit the hospital, so he can release the children from the trance.
Germany's largest building is a six-story, four-kilometer Nazi-built resort called Prora, located on an island in the Baltic Sea. Originally called "Kraft durch Freude" (Strength Through Joy), it's big enough to house 20,000 people. It was supposed to be even bigger, but World War II disrupted its construction. The building languished mostly unused until three and a half years ago, when a youth hostel moved in. I sense a Hostel sequel coming on.
After a corruption scandal led to bloody fistfight on the floor of Parliament, and a raid uncovered 10 handguns and an AK47 hidden in the same building, Kyrgyzstan slaughtered seven sheep this morning in a ritualistic ceremony to rid its democracy of "evil spirits." The literal scapegoating occurred on Parliament's front lawn.