? German Chancellor Helmut Kohl is more than a little overweight, which is supposedly a touchy subject for him. That didn't stop Bill Clinton from bringing it up during the NATO summit in Belgium. Attempting to make small talk, Clinton told Kohl, "Last night I thought of you, Helmut, because I saw a Sumo wrestling match on TV."
? Eating like a pig isn't as easy as it used to be. Not in Florida, anyway. The state pays $375,000 a year for inspectors who make sure the 285 hog farmers who still use garbage to slop their hogs follow state regulations. The program exists even though there are no known public-health problems caused by feeding hogs garbage and table scraps.
? New York City's Human Rights Commission has charged a health-club chain with discrimination because it offers membership discounts to married couples but not to people who merely live together. The commission says this violates the rights of homosexuals. The state of New York does not permit gays to marry, so the club is guilty of discrimination.
? Four barmaids in New Port Richey, Florida, say a local nightclub fired them because of their gender and sexual orientation. They're straight women. Seems that when the Late Show Night Club went gay, it got rid of the women on staff. The bar's manager reportedly said that since most of the patrons would be gay men, they'd prefer being served by other gay men.
? Parents in Greenwood, South Carolina, have asked officials to rename the new Springfield Elementary School. Their ire was raised when they found out this is the name of the school that Bart Simpson attends in the Fox network television show.
? In Oakland, California, a group of high-school students was asked to leave a theater showing Schindler's List after they allegedly laughed during the Nazi atrocities. The students say the theater was simply discriminating against them because they are black.
? The California legislature recently defeated a bill that would have ended conjugal visits for prisoners serving life sentences.
? In Chicago, Savino Latuga has filed a suit against the Hooters restaurant chain, saying the chain discriminated against him because of his gender when it refused to hire him as a waiter. Hooters is, of course, famous for its scantily clad waitresses, known as Hooters girls. Latuga is seeking class-action status on behalf of all men denied the chance to be Hooters girls.
? Andy Hansen's parents weren't too pleased when he brought home a C in math, so they did the only thing good parents can do: They sued his teacher. After a year and $4,000 in legal fees ($8,500 for the Contra Costa County, California, school district), the Hansens got a verdict: The C stands. The father says he'll appeal. "We went in and tried to make a deal: They wanted a C, we wanted an A, so why not compromise on a B. But they dug in their heels, and here we are."
? The National Black Caucus wants the Federal Communications Commission to investigate Denver, Colorado, radio host Ken Hamblin. They're upset by his use of what they think are racial epithets. (Hamblin is black.) California State Rep. Diane Watson complains that Hamblin's description of caucus members as "spooks" goes beyond the bounds of free speech.
? An Oslo, Norway, court threw out a drunk-driving case against Roar Karlsen. After leaving a bar in June, Karlsen zipped past some policemen. He turned around and asked them if it was OK for him to be driving after drinking. The officers weren't amused. They took him into custody and tested his alcohol level, which turned out to be three times the legal limit. The court threw out the case because it said the law did not apply to the electric wheelchair Karlsen was operating.
? An Ontario arbitration panel has ruled that Emmerson Phillips is eligible for sick pay for missing work one Monday. His employer, the Metropolitan Toronto Housing Authority, said the day shouldn't count as a sick day because Phillips was out with a hangover. But the panel ruled that it really didn't matter why Phillips was ill, just that he was. Said Phillips, "You can be sick from drinking or having a hangover."