Sunday, August 10, 2003

News you can use
Older women urged to become lesbians
AUSTRALIA'S leading relationship counselling body is urging lonely older single women to become lesbians.

Relationships Australia spokesman Jack Carney said men's shorter life spans, and their pursuit of much younger women, meant women in their twilight years were often forced to turn to other women for love and companionship.

Mr Carney said the government-funded support group encouraged older women to explore lesbian relationships, which were seen as more nurturing and emotionally supportive.
To paraphrase one of James Taranto's favorite lines, what would we do without government funded experts?

Sea salvage to keep cars off used lots
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands -- Smit Salvage has been besieged with calls ever since a Norwegian-registered ship with thousands of luxury cars on board sank late last year in the English Channel.

The callers -- used car salesmen, junkyard dealers and modern-day treasure hunters -- guessed correctly that the Rotterdam company was the likeliest candidate to raise the sunken ship, the Tricolor, and its cargo of 2,871 BMWs, Volvos and Saabs, worth about $40 million.

What they did not fully consider was the corrosive effect of spending eight months in salt water.
What makes the author think so?

Expert: Cuban economy on brink of collapse
Under a ''catastrophic debt burden'' and unable to pay its creditors, Cuba is teetering on the precipice of economic collapse, an international finance expert said Thursday.

''In the last couple of years, Cuba has spiraled out of control in not meeting its obligations. It's a sign the wheels are coming off the bus,'' said Dennis Flannery, executive vice president of the Inter-American Development Bank. He spoke to reporters in Coral Gables after addressing the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy.

Cuba had its lowest sugar harvest this year since the Great Depression, and the country is largely floated on income from the tourism industry and money sent to the island in remittances. The government has used that money in part to buy food -- in cash -- from U.S. farmers, while avoiding its bills to other foreign governments.

Cuba's foreign debt is so high -- it owes $12 billion in hard currency, plus Russia claims it is owed another $20 billion, Flannery said, citing the State Department -- that a credit agency has listed the Caribbean nation among the world's riskiest investments, along with Iraq and Angola, a nation to which Cuba once sent military and economic aid.
Guess those Fidel Savings Bonds won't be a good investment. How long before the usual suspects in the Democrat party call for a bailout?

How killers in state stay untouchable: Mexican court scraps extradition treaty -- frustrated California D.A.s won't cut deals
After a months-long search, Santa Cruz County investigators found the man accused of a brutal attack in which he allegedly slashed a girl's throat and then raped her friend.

Trouble is, the only way to get him is to cut a deal.

Suspect Miguel Loza is behind bars in a Mexico City jail. But Mexican authorities refuse to send him to the United States to stand trial unless he is guaranteed parole.

The dilemma facing Santa Cruz prosecutors -- whether to reduce charges for a heinous crime or risk leaving a suspected killer, rapist and child molester on the loose -- has become increasingly common for district attorneys throughout the state since October 2001. That was when Mexico's Supreme Court ruled that life in prison, or any term without guaranteed parole, constitutes cruel and unusual punishment under Mexico's constitution.
As for Loza, the pending charges of homicide, sodomy, assault with a deadly weapon and forcible sex assault on a child would have to be reduced to the level of manslaughter before Mexico would allow extradition.
First, they wouldn't extradite if there was a possibility of a death sentence. Now they won't extradite if there is a possibility of a life sentence. Next, they won't extradite if there are no guarantees of doilies.