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Dominatrix told to pay for damage
  13th Oct 2012

A German court has ordered a dominatrix to pay 200 euros ($260) to a local charity as a penance after a client accused her of hurting and robbing him. Cologne district court spokesman Dirk Esser said the plaintiff had accused the woman he hired for sex last month of holding a kitchen knife to his throat before demanding his debit card and PIN number. The plaintiff, a 49-year-old undertaker, also said the woman had detained him against his will for five hours. The court decided that it was impossible to know for sure what really happened because both parties had consumed too much cocaine during their encounter. It dropped the charges but ordered the prostitute to pay the "penance money" to a charity that supports crime victims. The 35-year-old mother of four has been in pre-trial custody for the past five weeks, but declined to be compensated for time spent in jail, Esser said. The dominatrix denied keeping the man against his will, adding that he had also asked if a transsexual colleague could join them.

Peru's annual festival of cat meat delicacies

Peru's annual Festival Gastronomico del Gato, which is held every year to honour Santa Efigenia, a saint descended from African slaves, has been in the news of late for its curious custom of eating cat meat. Cats are especially bred and fattened for the fest which is a part of the celebrations held in memory of the cat. The festival, which is held in the town of La Quebrada harks back to the times when the earliest settlers were forced to survive on cat meat for sustenance.

Italian leader, 62, swims for votes

Populist politician Beppe Grillo, the leader of Italy's second-largest party, launched a local election campaign in Sicily in colourful fashion on Wednesday by swimming the treacherous Straits of Messina that separate the island from mainland Italy. Grillo's 5-Star Movement, capitalizing on a spate of scandals involving established parties, is the rising force of Italian politics and made spectacular gains in local elections in May, when it elected its mayor to the northern city of Parma. It is hoping to make similar progress in the poorer south at a vote to renew Sicily's regional assembly on October 28. Sixty-two-year-old Grillo, a shaggy haired former comedian who is renowned for his vitriolic diatribes against conventional politicians, swam the 3km straits despite rain and stiff winds. The Straits of Messina, which link the Tyrrhenian and Ionian seas, are washed by strong currents and whirlpools which were personified in Greek mythology as two irresistible monsters, Scylla and Charybdis.

Mother's jewels sold for sex

A 14-year-old German teentook his mother's jewellery, worth between 2,000 and 3,000 euros, and pawned it for 300 euros to finance two trips to a brothel for himself and a friend, German police said on Wednesday. Police spokesman Ralf Minet said the teenager's mother is pressing charges of theft against her son. "We don't know what the mother's motives are for pressing charges," Minet said. "It's possible she wants to teach him a lesson or that she felt she had lost control." Police are also investigating the brothel that the boys visited. Prostitution in Germany is legal but clients must be aged above 18. The operator of the brothel said they had sent the boys away because they were underage.

Woman says she didn't kill

A new TV show on TLC intriguingly titled Half Ton Killer? features a 1,000-pound woman called Marya Rosales, who in 2008 claimed to have accidentally killed her 2-year old nephew, Eliseo Jr, when she rolled in bed over him. However, doctors later said that the child died because of severe beatings, and not because he was smothered under someone's weight. Rosales has now come clean on the TV show, saying that her nephew died because of her abusive sister. Rosales said she saw her sister hit Elisio repeatedly with a brush on his arms, legs and head. She said she lied and took on the blame so that her sister could still have her other kids with her.

Natural medicine to cure AIDS?

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh said that dozens of HIV/AIDS patients in the tiny West African state have been cured using his secret concoction of boiled herbs. Jammeh first announced he had found a natural remedy to cure AIDS in 2007, stirring anger among Western medical experts who claimed he was giving false hope to the sick. "Who am I to expect that everybody would praise me," Jammeh said in a state TV broadcast on Sunday, announcing that 68 patients had been cured and discharged from a treatment center. "Just as the Prophet Mohammed prevailed and established Islam (...) I also prevailed to cure HIV/AIDS to the point that 68 are being discharged today," he said. WHO and the UN have said Jammeh's HIV/AIDS treatment is alarming, because patients are required to cease their anti-retroviral drugs making them more prone to infection. The president said the cured group was the seventh batch of HIV/AIDS patients undergoing his herbal remedy to have been discharged since the treatments began five years ago. Jammeh came to power in Gambia, in a bloodless military coup in 1994. He is accused by activists of human rights abuses during his rule, and recently drew criticism for executing nine death row inmates by firing squad. Jammeh said that his government would fully integrate "natural medicine" to all the country's hospitals, to complement Western medical techniques. Other African leaders have drawn criticism for extolling the power of natural remedies to combat AIDS. The administration of former South African President Thabo Mbeki was ridiculed for denying there was a link between HIV and AIDS while prescribing treatments such as beetroot instead of internationally proven medicines.

Governor gives out phone sex number

In an embarrassing mistake, Florida Governor Rick Scott gave out a phone sex hotline number to Floridians seeking information on a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak. Scott was providing an update on the outbreak at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday when he announced what he said was the hotline's toll-free phone line, but gave out the wrong number. The governor's office was alerted by a public radio station in Tampa, WUSF, which had posted the number on its website. The station said it was "quickly notified by a reader that the number instead connected to an adult telephone line." Callers are greeted by woman's voice saying: "Hello boys, thank you for calling me on my anniversary." Scott's spokeswoman Jackie Schutz said the governor inadvertently misread the number. He was informed of the error and was able to correct himself about 20 minutes later in the same meeting. The correct number for the Meningitis Hotline is 866-523-7339, but Scott got one of the digits mixed up.

Clergy on the Catwalk

In an effort to show that the church is keeping up with the times, a fashion show was organized in Manchester where members of the clergy walked the catwalk, modeling outfits which redesigned and rendered colour onto the otherwise simple white or grey robes. The outfits displayed were starkly different from the traditional attire donned by the clergy, like the electric blue dress for females or the full Easter tableau on the front of a flowing white smock. The Bishop of Middleton, Rt Rev Mark Davies, said: "The church has modernised so much in the past 20 years and what the clergy wears reflects that change".This was a part of the annual Christian event titled The Ideal Church Show, and the fashion show titled 'Clergy on the Catwalk', showcased designs by Juliet Hemingray, Hayes and Finch, Cross Designs and J&M Sewing. Five male and two female vicars took part in the event. The event lasted for two days and attracted nearly 3000 people, and had stalls by suppliers selling church lighting to coffins, parish computer systems, etc.

Candidate offers cocaine for votes

A Brazillian candidate who was running for the post of councillor was arrested after she was caught handing out cocaine along with election leaflets containing instructions on how to vote for her. Thirty-two-year old Carme Cristina Lima was campaigning for the post in Itacoatiara, in the northern state of Amazonas. The day of the elections, police got suspicious after they saw a large crowd of people huddled over her car. When the police approached the car for a closer look, they all fled, including the candidate in question. After giving chase, police caught up with her and discovered hundreds of packets of cocaine stapled to the election leaflets. Locals later informed the police that she had been handing out the drugs since early morning, insisting that people had to vote for her in return for it.

Tunisian magazine prosecuted

A popular Tunisian children's magazine is to be prosecuted for telling its young readers how to make a petrol bomb, officials said on Tuesday. The latest edition of Qaws Quzah, Arabic for 'Rainbow', featured a piece about the history of petrol bombs in its "Knowledge Corner", including detailed instructions and a diagram. "It is an improvised weapon that is often used in riots and acts of sabotage because it is easy to make and use," the article read. The magazine, read for decades in Tunisia by boys and girls aged 5 to 15, has no political orientation. But the article touched a raw nerve in a country still seeking to tame the unrest stirred up by last year's successful revolution, the first of the Arab Spring. The Ministry for Women and Family Affairs said the article "encourages violent and terrorist thought" as well as endangering children's lives by "encouraging the use of Molotov cocktails in acts of vandalism or terrorism". It said it would ask an investigating magistrate to open a case against the publishers and all those involved in the issue. While the specific charges will be for the judge to decide, the ministry's comments suggested they could include incitement to violence. Tunisia's revolution led to the democratic election of a transitional government headed by the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, but violence persists among extreme religious groups, during which petrol bombs have been a weapon of choice.

 
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