World Roundup

Harper’s Weekly Review is particularly entertaining this week (thanks to CM for the link). Full text over the fold.

In New Delhi, India, children and adults carrying both lit candles and hydrogen-filled balloons marched to mark the World Day Against Child Labor. At least twenty-five people were subsequently hospitalized for exploding-balloon-related burns. Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz, former executives at Tyco, were found guilty on thirty counts of grand larceny, conspiracy, falsifying business records, and securities fraud. A llama was found on the freeway in Pennsylvania, police in Tennessee arrested 144 people at a cockfight, and the sixty-two-year-old man who was attacked and mutilated by two chimpanzees in March was brought out of his coma. British potato farmers held protests against the Oxford English Dictionary; they were offended by the term "couch potato." An achondroplastic dwarf in Florida named Molly Beavers sued Wal-Mart for firing her from her job at Sam’s Club because she did not smile enough; Beavers cannot smile because her face is partially paralyzed. Florida police found six endangered gopher tortoises in the back of a car. The owner of the car said that he was planning a soup. A British man pleaded guilty to unloading a fire extinguisher into his friend’s anus. "It was just horseplay that went wrong," said the man’s lawyer. Another British man was sentenced to twenty-seven months in prison for making his friend Ernest dress in a skirt, forcing him to strip, shaving him all over, and painting him green so he would look like Shrek.

An autopsy showed that Terri Schiavo had never been abused, was blind at the time of her death, and had a brain half the normal size. When asked about his earlier statements on Schiavo, Senator Bill Frist, who on March 17 said from the floor of the Senate that he had reviewed videotapes of Schiavo and that the "footage, to me, portrays something very different than persistent vegetative state," said, "I never, never, on the floor of the Senate made a diagnosis." The Senate apologized for not making lynching a federal crime, although eight senators, including Trent Lott, did not take part in the voice vote or the signing of an apology. Ralph Nader said that the efforts of the Democratic Party against him had made him feel like a nigger. A two-faced kitten was born in Oregon, a six-legged puppy was found in Malaysia, a county commissioner in Marion County, Florida, was promoting his plan to send sex offenders to Mexico, and four cheerleaders in Texas were in trouble for smearing human feces on a pizza in an attempt to frame a rival cheerleading squad. A man in Shreveport, Arkansas, attempted to rob a beauty school at gunpoint only to be severely beaten by nearly thirty women with sticks, table legs, and curling irons. "They kept pulling him back in and beating him," said a policewoman. "I wore him out with that stick," one woman said. A nun in Romania, undergoing exorcism, died after she was tied to a cross, gagged, and left alone for three days in a cold room. "I don’t understand why journalists are making such a fuss about this," said the priest who organized the exorcism. Deep Throat and the Runaway Bride were both working on movie deals, and a bar of soap allegedly made from Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi sold for $18,000.

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