Sex-on-beach trial Britons guilty Vince Acors was in Dubai on holiday when he met Michelle Palmer A British man and woman have been sentenced to three months in jail in Dubai after being found guilty of having sex on a beach. Michelle Palmer, 36, of Oakham, Rutland, and Vince Acors, 34, of Bromley, south-east London, were arrested on 5 July. They were fined 1,000 dirhams (£160; $350) and will be deported after serving their sentences. Their lawyer says the pair will appeal against the verdict. A spokesman for the judge said Acors and Palmer would be jailed and then deported for the offences of unmarried sex and public indecency. He added that they had been fined for being drunk in a public place. "The sentence of three months is usual in these cases. We get many cases of this kind," he said. Acors and Palmer were not at Dubai's Court of First Instance to hear the ruling but had been ordered not to leave the emirate.
Iran unveils plan for women's car By Jon Leyne BBC News, Tehran Iranian women can drive cars but are not allowed to ride motorbikes Iran has announced plans for a new car designed specially for women. Its features will include automatic transmission, parking and navigation aids and a jack for changing tyres without getting grease on your chador. Iran's biggest car producer, Iran Khodro, says it will come in a range of feminine colours and interior designs. Other features are proposed to make it easier for women when they are doing the family shopping or taking their children to school. If that suggests a degree of sexist stereotyping in Iranian society, it is, just possibly, true. Despite the fact that Iranian women now make up around 60% of university students, Iranian men have yet to absorb fully the message of equality. A recent study by an academic from Allameh Tabatabaii University in Tehran found that working Iranian women believed that the domestic chores should be shared more equally. However, according to the report "their husbands think and act traditionally". Indeed, the idea of married men cooking for their wives is viewed in Iran as highly eccentric. As a result, the report concludes, Iran's new generation of working women "are obliged to play the role of a superwoman to resolve their contradictions in handling all tasks." It says such women "have become increasingly frustrated with their life".
US Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) reacts to almost heading the wrong way off the stage after shaking hands with Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) at the conclusion of the final presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, October 15, 2008. REUTERS/Jim Bourg (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008
Queensland teenager Samantha-Jane Stacey …… wins sumo medal October 13, 2008 AN Australian teenager has claimed the nation's first sumo wrestling medal in almost three decades at the World Sumo Championships in Estonia. Queensland teenager Samantha-Jane Stacey, 14, battled through five matches with a sprained ankle to earn silver in the junior women's division. Sammy, who weighs 127kg, practises at her Gold Coast home in a downstairs room converted by her dad with padding and training mats. Affectionately known as "Sammy Sumo", Samantha-Jane trains on a diet of Weetbix and lasagne. She says she does not try to put on weight but concentrates on a balanced diet. "I'm naturally a big girl. I don't have to eat anything extra," she said.
Mexican Marijuana Cartels Sully US Forests, Parks Mexican marijuana cartels use pesticides, herbicides that pollute US parks, forests PORTERVILLE, Calif. October 11, 2008 (AP) The Associated Press National forests and parks — long popular with Mexican marijuana-growing cartels — have become home to some of the most polluted pockets of wilderness in America because of the toxic chemicals needed to eke lucrative harvests from rocky mountainsides, federal officials said. The grow sites have taken hold from the West Coast's Cascade Mountains, as well as on federal lands in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia. Seven hundred grow sites were discovered on U.S. Forest Service land in California alone in 2007 and 2008 — and authorities say the 1,800-square-mile Sequoia National Forest is the hardest hit. Weed and bug sprays, some long banned in the U.S., have been smuggled to the marijuana farms. Plant growth hormones have been dumped into streams, and the water has then been diverted for miles in PVC pipes. Rat poison has been sprinkled over the landscape to keep animals away from tender plants. And many sites are strewn with the carcasses of deer and bears poached by workers during the five-month growing season that is now ending. "What's going on on public lands is a crisis at every level," said Forest Service agent Ron Pugh. "These are America's most precious resources, and they are being devastated by an unprecedented commercial enterprise conducted by armed foreign nationals. It is a huge mess." Then, officials say, tighter border controls after Sept. 11, 2001, forced industrial-scale growers to move their operations into the United States. Millions of dollars are spent every year to find and uproot marijuana-growing operations on state and federal lands, but federal officials say no money is budgeted to clean up the environmental mess left behind after helicopters carry off the plants. They are encouraged that Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who last year secured funding for eradication, has inquired about the pollution problems.
Los Spring Valley Tres Undercover New York prostitution sting nets trio of crossdressers OCTOBER 14--Meet Pedro, Wilfredo, and Luis. The New Yorkers were among 18 men nabbed Sunday morning during an undercover prostitution sting in Spring Valley, a suburb north of New York City. Fifteen of the suspects were charged with soliciting sex from an undercover female cop. However, Pedro, 24; Wilfredo, 28; and Luis, 26--who are pictured in mug shots on the following pages--were allegedly offering their services to undercover male officers. As a result, they were each charged with a misdemeanor prostitution rap. In case you didn't notice the family resemblance, police report that Pedro and Wilfredo are cousins.