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How bizarre
by Thanos Kalamidas
2010-11-19 09:58:55
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bizarre01_12Russian jail to install sunbeds for prisoners

A prison in Russia says it is to install sunbeds and other facilities to improve the health of its inmates. The head of Moscow's Butyrka remand prison, Sergei Telyatnikov, said prisoners would also have access to ultrasound equipment.

They may also get spa facilities such as mud baths in the jail, which dates back to the 19th Century. Russia's prisons have been criticised as being overcrowded and badly managed with poor medical facilities.

Mr Telyatnikov was quoted by the Reuters news agency as telling the Vesti FM radio station: "We are developing additional medical services... and even sunbeds will be put in place."  He said the sunbeds would be installed by the end of the year, but that prisoners would have to apply for permission before using them, and would be charged for doing so. He said the ultrasound systems would be used to give prisoners health checks.


'I didn't fowl my pants'

At an appearance yesterday in Brooklyn Supreme Court, Deon Williams, caught on tape this month using a 12-pound Boars Head turkey breast as a codpiece, turned down a plea deal of six months in jail. "I didn't do it," Williams told The Post. "OK, I stole a cold-cut sandwich because I was hungry, but I put everything [else] back."

Williams allegedly pulled the birdbrained stunt at a Fine Fare supermarket in Bedford-Stuyvesant.  The butcher chased him out of the store and demanded that Williams return the bird. Williams put the poultry on the pavement but then allegedly punched the butcher in the jaw. The avian antics are small fry compared to Williams' pending robbery rap, prosecutors say.


Soup off the menu

bizarre03_400_12As the winter months are drawing in, most people like nothing better than to sit down to a big, hot, bowl of soup. But New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has stepped up his campaign to get the city's residents to eat healthier and has now targeted the winter-warmer as one of the big offenders. A new advertising campaign has been launched trying to get people to cut down on their salt intake and Mr Bloomberg said canned soup is one of the biggest culprits.

The ads which will be plastered on subways for the next two months features a half-opened can of soup with salt spewing from the top of it and surrounding the can. Salt-aholics will be warned that too much sodium 'can lead to a heart attack and stroke'. Sodium content of foods like salad dressing and frozen pizza will also be put on the ads to let consumers know of the hidden dangers. Mr Bloomberg who has admitted dumping salt on his own meals said processed food contain a high amount of sodium leading people to eat a high-salt diet, sometimes unwittingly.

Soup giant Campbell's are not very impressed with the new campaign and said the posters are 'not an accurate representation of the company's soup portfolio', spokeswoman Juli Mandel Sloves said. 'Campbell's is an acknowledged leader in sodium reduction. We have been reducing sodium across our portfolio for decades', Ms Sloves added. The cost of the $370,000 campaign will be shared between city taxpayers and federal government according to a city Department of Health spokeswoman. The campaign is perfectly timed as with the colder months closing in, most families will be putting soup on the menu to keep warm but may now have to consider an alternative if they want to lower their sodium intake.


Debt collectors utilize Facebook

bizarre04_05Debt collectors can be relentless and downright rude on the phone, but now a St. Petersburg woman is filing suit alleging the company that financed her car loan began harassing family members over the social networking website Facebook. Melanie Beacham says she fell behind on her car payment after getting sick and taking a medical leave from work. She contacted MarkOne Financial to explain the situation but says the harassing phone calls, as many as 20 per day, kept coming. Then one day she got a call from her sister saying the company contacted her in Georgia.

"I was telling her, 'No way, because you're not even a reference,'" said Beacham, who later found out MarkOne contacted her sister and other relatives via Facebook. Beacham says the company claimed they were doing nothing wrong but, upset over what happened, she contacted Tampa based consumer attorney Billy Howard of Morgan & Morgan.

"Now Facebook does a debt collectors work for them. Now it's not only family members, it's all of your associates. It's a very powerful tool for debt collectors to use," says Howard. He believes Facebook will soon become a regular method for contact if nothing is done.  "It's getting the desired result, and that is to start a domino effect of panic and embarrassment among family and friends, and people will do anything to stop that."

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