"I’ve always been very comfortable with my sexuality and my brothers call me ‘Donk’ — as in Donkey. People have talked about me being ‘blessed’ in my physique.
The first time [I met Gina Lollobrigida] she looked me up and down and said: ‘I hear you’re a monster. I want to meet the monster.’ Well, I decided that if I had it, there wasn’t any point in just keeping it in the holster all the time.”
-- From “Could It Be Forever”, a new memoir written by former Partridge Family star David Cassidy that tells of his drug use, wild sex, infatuation with Meredith Baxter, a romp with Barbara the Butter Queen who liked to cover her sex partners with butter, and an encounter with 1950s screen star Gina Lollobrigida. (Info from Wikipedia.org)
Bosnian angry with 'funeral' no show (ananova.com, 3/19/07) A Bosnian man has written to all his friends to complain after only his elderly mum turned up for his funeral. Amir Vehabovic, 45, faked his own death just to see how many people would attend. He then watched from the bushes as only his elderly mum turned up for the burial in the north Bosnian town of Gradiska. In the letter to the 45 people he invited to the burial he wrote: "I paid a lot of money to get a fake death certificate and bribe undertakers to deliver an empty coffin. I really thought a lot more of you, my so-called friends, would turn up to pay their last respects. It just goes to show who you can really count on."
One-legged driver outruns cops (ananova.com, 5/10/07) Police in Florida were embarrassed when a driver with no arms and just one leg lost them in a high-speed chase - again. Officers say the driver was Michael Wiley, 40, who overcame three amputations and taught himself to drive with stumps. “He is one of the best drivers I've ever seen in my life, " said Lee Michie, a longtime acquaintance. "But he's the worst person I've ever met."
Cops: Woman Calls in Threat to Skip Work (Associated Press, 3/30/07) KEARNEY, Neb. - Police say a Kearney woman went to extremes to avoid working the weekend. Brandy Killin, 26, faces a felony charge of threatening to use an explosive after she allegedly phoned a bomb threat in to her employer to get out of work.
Scientist claims global warming cover-up (Washington Times, 3/20/07) WASHINGTON – James Hansen, a NASA scientist who said the Bush administration muzzled him because of his belief in global warming yesterday acknowledged to Congress that he'd done more than 1,400 on-the-job interviews in recent years.
Escaped prisoner 'missed mates' (FOCUS News Agency, 4/30/07) SOFIA - An escaped convict turned up at his old prison and asked to be let back in because he was missing his mates. Bulgarian thief Vassil Ivanov, 37, had been on the run since disappearing during an Easter break at home in 2005, online source Ananova reports. He said: "I couldn't stand it any more. I had been inside for nine years and I just couldn't get used to life on the outside again. I missed my pals here and I was miserable being a free man."
Skull and several bones taken from grave of Hungary’s communist leader (Associated Press, 5/3/07) BUDAPEST, Hungary - The skull and several other bones of Hungary’s communist-era leader Janos Kadar and the urn containing his wife’s ashes were stolen from his grave, police said Thursday. On a memorial to communist leaders near the tomb, someone had written: "Murderer and traitor, you cannot rest in holy ground." Kadar was installed as Hungary’s leader after the Soviet army crushed the 1956 revolution, leaving around 2,800 Hungarians and 700 Soviet troops dead. He ruled until 1988 and died in 1989, a few months before the fall of communism.
Japan's child population declines to new post-World War II low (Mainichi Daily News [Japan], 5/5/07) Japan's child population has fallen to a record low since the end of World War II as the country's birth rate continues to fall, the government said Friday. Japan's child population ratio is believed to be the lowest in the world.
102-year-old California Woman Hits Hole-in-1 (Associated Press, 4/10/07) CHICO, California - Elsie McLean thought she might have lost her ball on the par-3, 100-yard fourth hole at Bidwell Park. Instead, the 102-year-old Chico woman became the oldest golfer ever to make a hole-in-one on a regulation course. It was McLean's first ace.
German judge invokes Qur'an to deny abused wife a divorce (The Guardian [UK], 3/23/07) A German judge who refused a Moroccan woman a fast-track divorce on the grounds that domestic violence was acceptable according to the Qur'an has been removed from the case following a nationwide outcry. The judge, Christa Datz-Winter, said the German woman of Moroccan descent would not be granted a divorce because she and her husband came from a "Moroccan cultural environment in which it is not uncommon for a man to exert a right of corporal punishment over his wife," according to a statement she wrote that was issued by a Frankfurt court. "That's what the claimant had to reckon with when she married the defendant."
Firm that helped build border fence hired illegals (Associated Press, 3/28/07) SAN DIEGO - Two executives at a company that once helped build a fence to keep illegal immigrants from crossing the Mexican border were sentenced Wednesday to six months of home confinement for hiring undocumented workers.
Japanese Set Record for Longest Concert (Associated Press, 3/31/07) TOKYO - Japanese musicians overcame fatigue and a major earthquake to set the record for the world's longest concert on Saturday, playing 184 hours non-stop in a program that ranged from The Beatles' classics to Japanese traditional harp music. On Sunday, a magnitude 6.9 quake in northwestern Japan jolted the stage - but didn't stop a determined pianist from ploughing on with her tune, said Hiroshi Mizutani, 51, an organizer.
Home Countries Should Pay for Illegal Immigrants' Crimes, Congressman Says (CNSNews.com, 6/6/07) American citizens who are victimized or injured as a result of crimes committed by illegal aliens should be able to seek restitution from those immigrants' home countries, according to Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas).
Girl bites Hamburger (ananova.com, 4/4/07) A German girl who could not get rid of a persistent admirer in a Hamburg disco unzipped his flies, pulled out his penis - and almost bit it in half. Emergency services found the man clutching his bloodstained member in the middle of the dance floor. Natascha Mueller, 23, told police: "I just wanted to dance and he kept coming alongside me and would not go away." Her victim, Andreas Baum, 39, said: "She beckoned me over and told me 'I know what you need'. Then she unzipped my trousers and I thought it was Xmas, and then she bit me. The pain was incredible. She almost bit it off." The young woman, who was arrested, was six times over the legal limit for driving when breath tested.
'Change will come when the man dies' (El Nuevo Herald, 5/15/07) For punk rocker Gorki Aguila, nothing has changed in Cuba since Fidel Castro ceded power to his brother nine months ago. ''Tyranny is present . . . even if he doesn't make a public appearance,'' said the 38-year-old. His band, Porno For Ricardo, is the leading exponent of underground music, a flourishing movement today in a country where 1.5 million people are too young to remember the better times before the economy imploded with the end of Soviet subsidies in 1991. The band's latest CD, whose title roughly translates as ''I don't like politics, but she likes me, comrade,'' contains several profanity-laced critical songs, including one titled El Comandante. The band has been blackballed by the government, and Aguila has received several police summonses for ''interviews.'' In 2003, he was arrested on drug charges -- entrapment, he says -- and served two years in prison. Just last week, authorities forbade his band to practice at his apartment. But he says he will not leave Cuba, and hopes for a peaceful transition to democracy. ''Change will come when the man dies and Number Two [Raúl] retires gradually, to allow the installation of state capitalism,'' he said.
Women to rule new town (ananova.com, 4/11/07) China is to create the world’s first ‘Woman Town’ where women make all the decisions and disobedient men face punishments.
Blair blames spate of murders on black culture (The Guardian [London], 4/12/07) Tony Blair yesterday claimed the spate of knife and gun murders in London was not being caused by poverty, but a distinctive black culture. He said people had to drop their political correctness and recognise that the violence would not be stopped "by pretending it is not young black kids doing it".
Miss America 1944 Shoots Out Thieves' Tires (Associated Press, 4/20/07) WAYNESBURG, Ky. -- She was Miss America in 1944, but Venus Ramey said an accomplishment Friday the 13th pleases her just as much. The 82-year-old Ramey was alerted to a gang of metal thieves on her property near Waynesburg by her dogs. She said she jumped in her truck and drove to the building that was being looted, blocked an SUV and stepped out of her vehicle with a .38-caliber revolver. A man told her he was "scrapping metal." Venus replied "not my metal," and shot out one of his tires. She held the man at gunpoint as four others fled. Ramey flagged down a driver with a cell phone and had a call placed to the sheriff's office.
UN troops 'traded gold for guns' (BBC News, 5/23/07) Pakistani UN peacekeeping troops have traded in gold and sold weapons to Congolese militia groups they were meant to disarm, the BBC has learnt. These militia groups were guilty of some of the worst human rights abuses during the Democratic Republic of Congo's long civil war. The trading went on in 2005. A UN investigative team sent to gather evidence was obstructed and threatened. The team's report was buried by the UN itself to "avoid political fallout".
Global Warming Rally Cut Short By Cold Weather (Associated Press, 4/16/07) In Reno, more than two dozen demonstrators braved cold, wet weather to attend a rally designed to draw attention to global warming. However, the event was cut short by heavy rain and sleet, said organizer Lisa Stiller of the Northern Nevada Coalition for Climate Change.
Illegal detained in death of 'Christmas Story' director (WorldNetDaily.com, 4/6/07) An illegal alien suspected of causing a traffic accident and killing movie director Bob Clark, whose "A Christmas Story" has come alongside "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 34th Street" as a perennial holiday must-watch, has been placed under an immigration hold by federal authorities. Police have reported they believe Hector Velazquez-Nava, 24, was driving his sport utility vehicle and steered it into the wrong lane on the Pacific Coast Highway early Wednesday. He struck Clark's car head-on, and police say Clark and his son, Ariel Hanrath-Clark, 22, were pronounced dead at the scene.
Man who claimed war crimes in Iraq charged with falsifying record (Associated Press, 5/19/07) SEATTLE - Federal authorities in Washington state say a man who claimed to have participated in war crimes in Iraq while serving in the Army isn't even a veteran. And he's now facing federal charges. Authorities say 23-year-old Jesse Macbeth tried to use his claim to position himself as a leader of the anti-war movement but he actually falsified his military record.
Group cleared over Iran murders (BBC News, 4/16/07) Iran's Supreme Court has acquitted a group of men charged over a series of gruesome killings in 2002, according to lawyers for the victims' families. The vigilantes were not guilty because their victims were involved in un-Islamic activities, the court found. The killers said they believed Islam let them spill the blood of anyone engaged in illicit activities if they issued two warnings to the victims. Up to 18 people were killed in just one year, but only five of the murders were tried in court. According to their confessions, the killers put some of their victims in pits and stoned them to death. Others were suffocated. One man was even buried alive while others had their bodies dumped in the desert to be eaten by wild animals.
The accused, who were all members of an Islamic paramilitary force, told the court their understanding of the teachings of one Islamic cleric allowed them to kill immoral people if they had ignored two warnings to stop their bad behaviour. But there was no judicial process to determine the guilt of the victims in these cases. The group even killed a young couple they thought were involved in sex outside marriage, but media reports say the couple were either married or engaged to be married.
German Birth Rate Spikes 9 Months After the Soccer World Cup (buzzle.com, 4/30/07) The UEFA World Cup staged in Germany has succeeded where politicians have tried and failed for years by raising Germany's birth rate. A survey of maternity facilities revealed that the birth rate is up nearly 30% on this time last year. "If we had a World Cup in Germany every year I think we'd have found the permanent answer to our low birthrate," said Die Zeit. "The World Cup meant that people were in a constantly good mood for a month or so, which raised the amount of happy hormones and meant that people were ready for sex and their bodies more open to becoming pregnant."
Russia’s Working Population Dies Out (kommersant.com) Russia’s non-working population will exceed the number of working-age citizens by 15 million people in 10 years, said Vladimir Iontsev, head of the Moscow State University’s demography and population department, on Friday during the round table devoted to Moscow’s development strategy up to 2025. Beginning from 2007, Russia’s (and Moscow’s) employable population will become reducing, Iontsev said. Moreover, the capital, as well as other regions of Russia, will suffer the “degradation of population’s quality”, he said, pointing out that a considerable part of children under age 14 are beer alcoholics. Thus, they will be unable to improve Russia’s demographics in future.
Low-skilled aliens exact a burden (Washington Times, 4/5/07) Immigration reforms that increase the number of low-skilled workers entering the United States threaten to impose a high cost on taxpayers, says a study being released today. The Heritage Foundation report calculates that for every $1 unskilled workers pay in taxes they receive about $3 in government benefits, including Medicaid, food stamps, public housing and other welfare programs.
NO SEX FOR A LONG LIFE (DailyRecord.co.uk, 4/28/07)Grigoriy Nestor, a 116-year-old Ukrainian goatherd, says the secret of long life is not to have sex and not be curious. He said: "People who marry argue all the time and that's not good for your health."
Yahoo! sued over torture of Chinese dissident (Business.TimesOnline.co.uk, 4/20/07) A Chinese political prisoner sued Yahoo! in a US federal court, accusing the internet company of helping the Chinese government torture him by providing information that led to his arrest. The suit, filed under the Alien Tort Claims Act and the Torture Victims Protection Act, is believed to be the first of its kind made against an American internet company. Wang Xiaoning, who is serving a 10-year sentence in China, and his wife, Yu Ling, who is currently in San Francisco, are seeking damages and an injunction barring Yahoo! from identifying political opponents to the Chinese authorities.
Christopher Hitchens Continues His Quest Of Pissing Off Every Single Person In The Entire World (Jossip.com, 4/4/07) Christopher Hitchens. You may remember him from such literary coups as "Women: They're just not very funny, are they?" and "Mother Teresa: Total Fraud." And in his latest work Hitchens tackles yet another controversial subject, aiming to discredit a know-it-all braggart with a "me first" mentality, commonly referred to as "God." The book is titled 'God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything'. But is there a God? Not according to Chris Hitchens, there isn't! And whatever your respective religious beliefs, Hitchens is sure to offend in his anti-spiritual rant, that asserts the Koran is laughable, Islam a mask for insecurity, and Ghandi a misguided guru whose advice would have starved millions of people.
Sheryl Crow: Fight Global Warming By Saving Toilet Paper (Playfuls.com, 4/23/07) Earth Day was the perfect opportunity for American singer, Sheryl Crow, to remind people about her solution of saving the planet, suggesting a restriction of the toilet paper amount we use. She proposed a use of "only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where two to three could be required".
Oscar: "Fastest thing on no legs" (SouthAfrica.info, 4/19/07) Oscar Pistorius, a world record holder at 100 metres, 200 metres, and 400 metres for amputees has earned himself the nickname "the fastest thing on no legs". So dominant has Pistorius been that his times have threatened qualifying standards set for the Olympic Games, leading to a debate about whether or not he should be allowed to run in them. Pistorius is a double-amputee, having had both legs amputated when he was just 11 months old, because he was born without fibulas, which are bones found between the knee and the ankle.
Two of world‘s oldest women meet in Indiana (LocalNewsWatch.com, 4/25/07) SHELBYVILLE, Ind. - Two of the oldest people in the United States met Saturday. A relative drove 113-year-old Bertha Fry of Muncie to a Shelbyville nursing home to visit Edna Parker, who celebrated her 114th birthday Friday. A representative of Guinness World Records also was on hand to confirm the event. "I‘m glad you have come," Parker told Fry. "We have a lot to be thankful for."
Gaza: Female TV staff get death threat (Jerusalem Post, 6/2/07) A radical Islamic group in the Gaza Strip issued a death threat over the weekend against women working for the official Palestinian Authority television station, accusing them of dressing immodestly and behaving in a way that violates the teachings of Islam. The threat, the first of its kind against female employees of Palestine TV, was made by the Righteous Swords of Islam, a relatively new group that is believed to have links with al-Qaida. The group has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on Internet cafes and restaurants in the Gaza Strip over the past year. Members of the group are also responsible for splashing acid in the face of a number of young women who had been accused of "immoral behavior." The Righteous Swords of Islam is one of three al-Qaida-affiliated groups that have popped up in the Gaza Strip over the past two years.
Arkansas students collecting Silly String for soldiers (Associated Press, 4/8/07) WARREN, Ark. -- Students at Warren High School are amassing cans of Silly String, but it's not for a senior prank. Instead, the students are collecting cans of the neon spray to send to soldiers in Iraq, who can use the Silly String to detect trip wires around bombs.
Police investigate ham incident at school (Associated Press, 4/19/07) LEWISTON, Maine -- Police are investigating as a possible hate crime an incident in which a ham steak was placed in a bag on a lunch table where a group of Somali students were sitting. Such an incident would be offensive to Somalis, who are Muslims and consider pork unclean.
Man lives in woods — for 28 years (ananova.com, 4/24/07) A German man has admitted living in the woods near Berlin for 28 years after his girlfriend threw him out of their flat. Konrad Schmidt, now 60, said: “My fiancée threw me out and so I came here and have been here ever since. I don’t want any contact with people, I get a bit of money collecting bottles people leave in the woods and that is all I need.”
Gay activists beaten up at Moscow demo (The Independent [London], 5/28/07)Peter Tatchell, the rights campaigner, and Richard Fairbrass, the lead singer in the Right Said Fred pop group, were assaulted by anti-gay activists in Moscow, as violence erupted at a protest calling for the right to hold a gay pride parade. Nationalists chanted "death to homosexuals" while throwing kicks, punches and eggs at the protestors, who were trying to present a petition signed by 40 MEPs to Mayor Yuri Luzhkov asking him to lift the ban on the parade. The mayor has made openly homophobic remarks in the past, calling such marches "satanic".
French outdo US people in French-hating (presstv.ir, 4/27/07) A new poll published on Friday indicates that the French dislike themselves more than the Americans dislike them. The poll, which was conducted for the International Herald Tribune daily and France 24 TV station, surveyed citizens of six nations. The results said that 44 percent of French people thought badly of themselves against 38 percent of U.S. respondents who had a negative view of the French, Reuters reported.
Top Hamas official: Kill all Americans (Jerusalem Post, 5/3/07) Sheik Ahmad Bahr, acting Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, declared during a Friday sermon at a Sudan mosque that America and Israel will be annihilated and called upon Allah to kill Jews and Americans "to the very Last One."
'Smoking saved my life' (ananova.com, 4/20/07) Smoking saved the life of a woman when she nipped outside for a cigarette seconds before an 80ft tree fell on her house. Brenda Comer stepped outside to light up - just as the huge oak tree smashed into the kitchen of her Rock Hill, South Carolina, home. It landed right across the sink where she had been washing dishes before deciding to take a cigarette break, reports the Herald. Mrs Comer and her husband, Franky, both 53, spoke to reporters as they stood in their smashed-up home staring at a gaping gash through their roof. She said: "I told him, 'Honey, I know you fuss at me for smoking, but today it saved my life'."
Chavez backs Danny Glover's directing debut (AFP, 5/22/07) "Lethal Weapon" co-star Glover, 60, currently on a speaking tour of Caracas, has supported Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez' political revolution since he was first elected in 1998, as well as the creation last year of Venezuela's Villa del Cine (Film Town), Variety magazine said Tuesday. On launching Villa del Cine, the anti-US Chavez administration said it intended to do battle with "the Hollywood film dictatorship."
Venezuelans Fight for Freedom From Hugo Chavez (Associated Press, 5/29/07) CARACAS, Venezuela -- Venezuelan police fired tear gas and plastic bullets Monday into a crowd of thousands protesting a decision by President Hugo Chavez that forced a television station critical of his leftist government off the air. Police fired toward the crowd of up to 5,000 protesters from a raised highway, and protesters fled amid clouds of tear gas. They later regrouped in Caracas' Plaza Brion chanting "freedom!" Some tossed rocks and bottles at police, prompting authorities to scatter demonstrators by firing more gas.
Thief Asks Out Woman He Just Robbed (Associated Press, 5/28/07) MILWAUKEE (AP) - Two men robbed a Milwaukee U-Haul store yesterday afternoon, taking an unspecified amount of cash. But instead of fleeing, one man tried to strike up a conversation with the woman he had just robbed. According to U-Haul general manager Patrick Sobocinski, the robber told the woman she was - quote - "pretty fine." The other man had forced an employee to open the cash register. He fled with the money. But his accomplice stuck around and continued to compliment the woman. The man asked for her phone number. But she didn't give it to him so he left.
Archbishop receives death threats, bullet in mail from 'Red Brigade' for opposing same-sex unions (WorldNetDaily.com, 5/6/07) Archbishop Angelo BagnascoArchbishop Angelo Bagnasco no longer celebrates Mass in the cathedral of Genoa, Italy, with assistance from altar boys or deacons – not since the death threats began after he spoke out against government plans to legalize same-sex unions. In the statement, Bagnasco made a "slippery-slope" case for what could go wrong in Italian society if the Church's moral position was not upheld. "Why say ‘No’ to forms of legally recognized cohabitation which create alternatives to the family? Why say ‘No’ to incest? Why say ‘No’ to the pedophile party in Holland?” he asked.
Following the comments, threatening messages – "Shame on you, Bagnasco" and "Death to Bagnasco" – signed with the five-pointed star of the Red Brigades terror group were painted on the walls in the city, including those of the cathedral. The Red Brigades, very active in the 1970s, have assassinated several senior Italian public figures in recent years. Fifteen alleged members of the communist organization's members were arrested and jailed three months ago, reported the Glasgow Sunday Herald. Recently, a mailing to the archbishop included a bullet and the cleric's picture with a swastika scrawled on it. While police do not presently believe the bullet's sender is affiliated with any terrorist group, they've taken no chances. Ironically, in the battle that is pitting religious and secular views of morality against each other, taxpayer-funded policeman are now standing in for altar boys during Catholicism's most sacred ritual.
Doctors admit: NHS treatments must be rationed (Observer.Guardian.co.uk., 5/6/07) British doctors will take the historic step of admitting for the first time that many health treatments will be rationed in the future because the NHS cannot cope with spiraling demand from patients. In a major report that will embarrass the government, the British Medical Association will say fertility treatment, plastic surgery and operations for varicose veins and minor childhood ailments, such as glue ear, are among a long list of procedures in jeopardy. James Johnson, the BMA chairman, will warn that patients face a bleak future because they will increasingly be denied treatments. He will urge the NHS to be much more explicit about what it can realistically afford to do and ask political leaders to engage in an open, honest debate about rationing.
Iranian teen freed after Canadian-led campaign (CTV.ca, 2/1/07) A young Iranian woman who faced the death penalty for killing a man who attempted to rape her is out of jail. Nazanin Fatehi, 19, was released Wednesday following an international campaign spearheaded by a former Miss World Canada. Vancouver's Nazanin Afshin-Jam, a pop singer and former beauty queen, had turned the case into a global cause, appearing on CTV's Canada AM among other media outlets, to campaign to save the woman who shared her first name. Most of the cash was raised by Afshin-Jam's website.
Fatehi had been sentenced to death for murder after she stabbed, in self-defence, one of three men who attempted to rape her and her 15-year-old niece in a park outside Tehran in 2005. Last year she received a new trial. In January, a five-judge panel unanimously overturned the charge.
Afshin-Jam, who was born in Iran as well, took up the cause last year, arguing that Fatehi was simply defending herself. Afshin-Jam became the figurehead of the campaign to have Fatehi freed, starting an online petition on her website that garnered 345,000 people signatures. In a statement released yesterday, Afshin-Jam said she had spoken to Fatehi, who was in good spirits.On her website, Afshin-Jam reports that Fatehi now hopes to go to school "and study hard to get her life back."
"She could not believe that this day had arrived."