News Bites

by Jasmine Papillom-Smith

Incidence of rape has increased by nearly 25% in Cambodia since 2008, specifically in places like Battambang province. Sexual assailants usually pay for authorities’ silence rather than being sent to jail. Battambang, Battambang… how can sexual assault come as a surprise?
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Two Chinamen were sentenced to eight and 10 years in jail for killing a snow leopard. Meanwhile, rapists in Cambodia give paper with numbers on it in exchange for rape. In other words, if a man was condemned to death, he would more readily be granted forced intercourse as his last request than a meal of snow leopard meat. Fair? I think so.
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A recent study has shown that the bonobo, the primate most closely genetically-related to the human being, is inclined to go out of his way to share his food, even when he is very hungry, with his primate friends. According to the BBC, researchers initially thought that “voluntarily sharing food” was essentially a human characteristic. Really? It doesn’t sound like any human trait I’m aware of.
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In other relevant news, Scotland recently broke the world record for most people going down a ski slope wearing a kilt. Two hundred people participated. This record could also be called: greatest amount of bare junk soaring through the air at high speeds.
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Once again, the people of Spain are protesting pro-abortion laws. One fanatic even claimed, “It isn’t the mother who has the rights, it is the child.” On the one hand, I totally agree. On the other, it could lead to confusion. Say, for instance, the foetus is male. It would be obvious, in that case, who the rights belong to. But who would have precedence if the foetus were female? Like I said, probably just a legal technicality they have to work out, maybe something to do with highest potential for child-bearing or sandwich-making.
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The government of Iran has prohibited their most prominent female poet from traveling abroad, due to her lack of support for last year’s controversial elections. Thus, I am offering myself up to be her foreign representative:
Iran,  Iran, Ir-an,
Your capital is Teh-ran,
You are bordered by Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkmen-istan,
You have no rights for the wo-man,
You mostly follow Is-lam,
You secretly have nuclear weap-ans,
You have no real free-dam,
Your election was a political-scam,
Oh Iran,
(whispered): Only poetry can set you free.
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Meanwhile, an Israeli soldier posted the time and place of his battalion’s raid, prior to the act, on Facebook. Needless to say, he was let go.
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Due to Montreal’s unnaturally warm weather over the past few months, the city allegedly is less pockmarked by potholes than is usual around this time of year. A note to G. Tremblay: the weather is doing a better job of road maintenance than you are. The weather, just an atmospheric non-entity with no interest whatsoever in the quality of Montreal’s roads. You might even say, the weather doesn’t care about potholes. And yet, Weather: 1, Gérald: 0.
***
On Friday, Tim Horton’s revealed plans for opening 900 new outlets, 300 of which are to be in the US. The company further stated that it will spread to at least three overseas countries. They also announced the launch of the cheese bagel, which, according to an insider, has been in the makings for the last twelve years. Tim Horton’s is taking over the world, and I like it.

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