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How bizarre
by Thanos Kalamidas
2011-05-15 09:19:51
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Thailand police arrest man with rare animals in luggage

bizarre01_400_07A man has been arrested at an airport in Thailand after endangered animals - including leopards, panthers and a bear - were found hidden in his luggage. The animals - all under two months old - had been drugged and put into cages in the man's suitcases, police said. The suspect, a 36-year-old man from the United Arab Emirates, was trying to board a flight from Bangkok to Dubai.

Several people are thought to be involved and an investigation into a trafficking network is under way. The man was seized by undercover police at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport while he was waiting to check-in as a first-class passenger. Officers had been monitoring him since his black market purchase of the rare animals, said the Freeland Foundation, an anti-trafficking group based in Thailand.

"It looked like they had sedated the animals and had them in flat cages so they couldn't move around much," said Steven Galster, director of Freeland, who was present at the arrest. Some of the animals were placed inside canisters with air holes. "It was a very sophisticated smuggling operation. We've never seen one like this before," Mr Galster said. "The guy had a virtual zoo in his suitcases."


South Korea row over short school skirts

bizarre02_16A row over how to respond to ever-shortening school skirts is brewing in South Korea.
A local education board in Gangwon Province has announced plans to place boards in front of all school desks, to make students more "comfortable". The local assembly in Gangwon is beginning a session on Wednesday during which they will decide whether to approve funding for the refurbishment.

The move will cost around $700,000 (£427,000). As hemlines in Korean classrooms rise, so it seems does the cost of accommodating them. Gangwon's Board of Education says it plans to fit boards to the front of 50,000 desks this summer to "help students sit more comfortably in class".

It is being prompted, at least in part, by the ever-shorter skirts being worn by female students. In one survey, quoted in a local paper, school hemlines have reportedly risen 10-15cm (4-6in) in the last decade. And that is apparently making everyone uncomfortable.


How online news may worsen the problem of obesity

bizarre03_10Obesity researchers from Yale University say that online news outlets overwhelmingly use negative images of overweight people - in ill-fitting clothes or eating fast food - to illustrate stories about obesity. The practice perpetuates fat stigma, the researchers say, and may contribute to obesity itself. For the new study, the researchers looked at 429 news stories about obesity, along with their accompanying photos, published on five major news websites. Of the photos depicting overweight or obese people, the study found, 72% portrayed them "in a negative, stigmatizing manner."

More than half of overweight people were shown in headless body shots, pictures that cantered unflatteringly on the abdomen or lower body - compared with thin subjects, the overweight were 23 times more likely to have their heads cut out of photos. Obese people were also significantly more likely to be pictured from the side or rear, unclothed or in slovenly attire, eating unhealthy food and being lazy. Although the news stories focused largely on reducing the obesity epidemic, the images that went with them had the opposite effect, the study's authors say. "Research shows that people who read a news story about obesity that is paired with a stigmatizing photograph subsequently express higher levels of weight bias than do those who read the same news story about obesity paired with a no stigmatizing photograph," the authors, from the Rudd Centre for Food Policy and Obesity, write.

As these negative images and attitudes become more common, they reinforce certain broader perceptions about the overweight - for instance that obesity ought to be blamed on failings of the individual, rather than on environmental and societal problems. In turn, social stigma threatens obese people with depression and low self-esteem. And those who view negative media images may themselves internalize harmful weight-based stereotypes, further worsening their mental health. That may trigger overeating, inactivity and weight gain, the authors say.


Greenpeace not a charity: court

Greenpeace New Zealand's political activities mean it cannot register as a charity, the High Court has decided. Greenpeace appealed against a 2010 ruling by the Charities Commission which found its promotion of "disarmament and peace" was political rather than educational and while it did not directly advocate illegal acts, Greenpeace members had acted illegally.

In his judgment Justice Paul Heath found the commission was correct in its judgment and turned down the Greenpeace appeal. "Non-violent, but potentially illegal activities (such as trespass), designed to put (in the eyes of Greenpeace) objectionable activities into the public spotlight were an independent object disqualifying it from registration as a charitable entity," the judge said.

Greenpeace's pleas for disarmament and peace could be seen as an independent purpose and its political activities were not necessary to educate members of the public on the key issues of Greenpeace, Justice Heath said. Greenpeace's lawyer Davey Salmon argued all of the organisation's primary purposes were charitable and the engagement of charities in political advocacy was more acceptable now in 21st century New Zealand. Justice Heath dismissed the appeal and made no order as to costs.

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Rosetta Stone2011-05-16 05:07:44
When you are young, you may want several love experiences. But as timegoes on, you will realize that if you really love someone, the wholelife will not be enough. You need time to know, to forgive and to love.All this needs a very big mind on http://www.nicerosettastone.com/

Rosetta Stone2011-05-16 05:14:48
When you are young, you may want several love experiences. But as timegoes on, you will realize that if you really love someone, the wholelife will not be enough. You need time to know, to forgive and to love.All this needs a very big mind on http://www.nicerosettastone.com/

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