xxxNews Of The Weirdxxx
Bizarre but true stories about real people collected by syndicated columnist Chuck Shepherd.
Julie Rose, 37, was convicted of assault in Yeovil, England, in October, for angrily slapping a new neighbor; the victim had apparently provoked Rose by declining her welcome-to-the-neighborhood suggestion that the Roses and the new couple engage in mate-swapping.
According to an October Los Angeles Times dispatch from Yemen, one government solution to “tam(e) the violent underside” of the nation’s tribal culture is to fund itinerant poets to roam the country and channel lawlessness into constructive thoughts. Illustrative of most Yemenis’ opposition to both American influence and their own government is this verse: “The Arab army is just to protect the leaders/They build their rule on the pain of the people/Democracy is for the rich/If the poor man tries it, they’ll call him a thief.” (And in October, National Liberty Fund published a book of poems by Sami Al-Arian, written from his cell while awaiting trial in Florida on federal charges of aiding the terrorist Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Sample: “(Was it) worth playing global police/even if it meant half-million Iraqis deceased.”)
Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s November project to bring peace to strife-torn southern provinces fell short of its goal, as resistance by separatists hardened. Shinawatra had airdropped about 100 million origami paper peace doves (which, unfortunately, wound up more resembling cranes) from military aircraft, some with prize coupons attached, hoping to distract people from their grievances.
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Copyright © 2001 by Chuck Shepherd
NEWS OF THE WEIRD