Dateline: Amsterdam--Fed up with their “negative” image, Dutch pedophiles are forming their own political party. The Charity, Freedom and Diversity Party announced on its website it would be officially registered by last Wednesday. Among the planks of its political platform the party wants to cut the legal age of sexual relations to 12 and eventually scrap the age limit altogether. “A ban just makes children curious,” Ad van den Berg, one of the party’s founders, told the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper. The Netherlands, which already has liberal policies on marijuana, prostitution and gay marriage, seemed shocked by the move. An opinion poll published last week showed that 82 percent want the government to do something to stop the formation of the new political party. In addition to reducing the age of sexual consent, the party also wants to legalize private possession of child pornography, allow the broadcast of pornography during daytime television and permit all people to go naked in public. “We want to get into parliament so we have a voice,” van den Berg said. “Other politicians only talk about us in a negative sense, as if we were criminals.” The party also hopes to promote sex with animals, the legalization of all soft and hard drugs and free train travel for all.
Dateline: Qatar—The tiny Gulf state of Qatar recently landed the record for the world’s most expensive telephone number. At a charity event in the capital city of Doha, a Qatari bidder paid 10 million riyals ($3.65 million) for the mobile phone number 666-6666. The winner, who made the highest bid 10 minutes into the auction, declined requests for interviews, wishing to remain anonymous--which is a little odd considering the entire world now knows his phone number. Eight people took part in the auction, organized by Qatar Telecom to raise funds for charity. The money raised by the auction will be used to expand medical services in the Arab country.
Dateline: New Zealand—An armless man stopped for speeding was driving with one foot on the steering wheel and one foot on the pedals, a policeman testified in Wellington court last week. Colin Smith, who was born without arms, has never had a driver’s license. He appeared in court last Thursday to answer charges of “driving in a manner likely to be dangerous to the public.” Smith, 31, told the court he had been driving for years using only his feet and had never had an accident.
Dateline: Australia—Brothel owners in the southern Australia state of Victoria have asked lawmakers for an exception to a new ban that prevents smoking in the workplace. According to a report in the Sunday Herald Sun, the Australian Adult Entertainment Industry has written to Victoria’s health minister arguing the new law, effectively preventing after-sex smokes, could push prostitution back into the streets. “People smoke when they drink, and people smoke when they fornicate,” association representative William Albon said. The association--which represents more than half of the 87 legal brothels operating in Victoria’s capital city Melbourne--wants an exemption to the ban when it goes into place in July 2007.
Dateline: Connecticut--Maybe Satan likes piña coladas. Police are trying to figure out what’s behind a bizarre discovery made last week in Torrington. Around 5:44 p.m. last Thursday evening, police found two severed goat heads, a pentagram drawn in chalk and a coconut in the driveway of a private residence on Wimbledon Gate North. At this point, police are not sure if the incident was some kind of ritual, practical joke or a crime against the homeowner. “We’re not saying this is illegal,” police Lt. Francis Balzano. “We would just like to know what it means.”
Dateline: Washington--Providing further proof (as if any were necessary) that drinking and dynamite don’t mix is the story of three Seattle men who were seriously injured in a fireworks accident last Thursday. Investigator told KOMO TV that the victims were part of a group of 10 or 12 construction workers having a barbecue at a KOA campground in Lewis County. One of the men came over to the campfire and showed off a powerful illegal firework that was about 5 inches long and an inch thick. Another man tossed it into the burning fire, but it failed to light. Naturally, he reached into the fire to retrieve it. A family member told KOMO 4 News one of the other construction workers tried to stop him from grabbing it, and in the process, the device went off. Police say two men lost their hands in the explosion and suffered other head and facial injuries. They were both airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The third man, who was walking nearby, also suffered head injuries and a possible eye fracture. Investigators believe the men had been drinking.