Odds & Ends
Dateline: Pakistan—On Nov. 21, Pakistan’s cell phone companies deferred the start of a government ban that would have rendered nearly 1,700 “obscene” words untextable. Previously, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority has blocked websites like YouTube and Facebook deemed pornographic or offensive to Islam. But the text message ban has caused some confusion among the country’s mobile service providers. “Obviously, there are concerns and we have some reservations,” Omar Manzur, a spokesperson for Mobilink, the country’s leading telecommunication operator, told reporters. Cell phone service providers are worried that the extensive and seemingly arbitrary filtering system could degrade the quality of network service. Among the 1,695 words and phrases in English and Urdu deemed obscene by the government are the usual suspects, plus common religious words like “Jesus Christ” and “Satan.” Mildly titillating words like “harder,” “looser” and “deeper” are no longer allowed. Mild curses such as “idiot” and “damn” made the list, as did oddball obscenities like “monkey crotch” and “athlete’s foot.” Among the more confusing phrases are “ass puppy” and “yellowman.” A spokesperson for the PTA acknowledged the “reservations” of the phone companies and told Agence France-Presse the government was “ready to sort that out through mutual discussions.” A new activist group called Bytes for All has announced it will challenge the government order in court, saying “a new, ruthless wave of moral policing” violates rights to free speech and privacy and will make a mockery of the country.
Dateline: Saudi Arabia—Moral police in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia say they are now allowed to order women to cover up their eyes if they are deemed “tempting.” The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) was founded in 1940 and is empowered by sharia law to ensure no Islamic laws are broken in public. Spokesperson for the Ha’eal district Sheikh Motlab al-Nabet said CPVPV has the right to stop women with sexy eyeballs and order them to cover up immediately. Saudi women are already required to wear loose-fitting, head-to-toe coverage in most public areas or face fines and public lashings. The announcement came days after the al-Watan newspaper reported that a Saudi man was hospitalized after fighting with a committee member who ordered his wife to hide her eyes. The man was stabbed twice in the hand. CPVPV has been the frequent target of criticism for alleged human rights violations. In 2002, 15 young female students died in a fire and dozens more were injured after the committee refused to let them flee their burning school in Mecca for “not wearing the proper head cover.”
Dateline: Germany—An armed, home-invasion robber was shamed into leaving without a penny after two young children offered him their piggy banks. According to a report in The Local newspaper, the masked man rang the doorbell of a house in Schwanewede, near Bremen, and then forced his way into the residence. Home at the time was a babysitter and the two young children she was looking after. While the man held the babysitter at gunpoint and demanded cash, the two young children came downstairs holding fistfuls of coins. “The children had heard what was going on from upstairs and came down with their money, all their savings.” a police spokesperson said. “The robber must have realized what he was doing was awful and simply put his gun away and left.”
Dateline: Florida—A transgender woman posing as fake doctor was arrested for administering dangerous “butt injections” that included cement, mineral oil and Fix-A-Flat tire sealant. According to a report in the Palm Beach Post, the criminal investigation went on for more than a year as Miami Police searched for unlicensed doctors running underground “pumping parties” to give the illegal, body-enhancing injections at home. Oneal Ron Morris, a 30-year-old who identifies as a woman, was arrested after a female informant told detectives she paid $700 for Morris to supersize her buttocks. The victim stopped Morris before the injections were complete due to extreme pain. Morris closed her incisions with Super Glue and sent her on her way. The victim suffered severe infections as a result and is still undergoing health treatments more than a year after Morris’ injections. Morris faces criminal charges of practicing without a medical license and bodily harm. Photos released by the Miami Police Department show that Morris was almost certainly a butt-injection client herself and are definitely worth Googling.
Compiled by Devin D. O'Leary. Email your weird news to firstname.lastname@example.org.