? Katie Nemeth just wanted to plead guilty to misusing a credit card. A customer had lost the card in the Cleveland store where she worked, and Nemeth's boyfriend had used it. But before sentencing, Judge Shirley Strickland Saffold offered some advice. "Men are easy," said the judge, trying to convince Nemeth she could do better than the ne'er-do-well who helped get her into trouble. "You can go sit in the bus stop, put on a short skirt, cross your legs and pick up 25. Ten of them will give you their money." The judge recommended marrying a doctor.
? Police in Singapore have been cracking down on Jehovah's Witnesses. Among the jailed was a 72-year-old woman. Singapore has banned the religion since 1972, claiming that the sect's opposition to military service and oaths of allegiance undermines public order.
? The government of Iran has toughened up its already harsh penalties for some crimes. Anyone convicted of lending money for profit will now get 74 lashes and up to three years in jail.
? Human rights activists have long accused Turkey of torturing criminal suspects. Now, they say, police are also threatening doctors to keep them from reporting torture. One doctor reportedly had his arm broken by police after he filed a report alleging a patient he examined had been tortured.
? Slavery is alive and well in Sudan. A human rights activist from that country told a congressional committee that nearly 10,000 people, many children, have been enslaved there.
? William "Scotty" Brack's ears lie too close to his head. That's the judgment of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Brack, an immigrant from Scotland, got a letter from the INS demanding a new photo for his green card. The INS said his ears weren't visible in the picture he had sent. So Brack sent another photo, taken at a better angle.
? In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Michael Fulkroad came home one day to find a man in bed with his girlfriend. He beat the man up. The guy needed 32 stitches when Fulkroad was finished with him. For the crime of assault, Fulkroad was sentenced to…five minutes of probation. Said the judge who sentenced him, "If I go to some other guy's house and sleep with his significant other–I don't know what people expect."
? Want to know what happens when you give politicians free television air time? Look to Brazil, where that practice is required by law. Julian Carlo Fagotti, a candidate for city council in a Brazilian town, has been airing an ad in which he is naked except for a strategically placed leaflet.
? In Belton, Missouri, Rickey Worthley wanted his son to mow the lawn. So he woke the 17-year- old up at 6 a.m. one Saturday. The boy told him to go away. So Worthley came back into the boy's room with the mower, turning it on in the boy's bedroom. The son called police, who arrested Worthley for assault.
? A man entered the Apollo Liquor Store in Evansville, Indiana, one Friday night. He said he wanted to buy a bottle of wine and got carded by the clerk, so he gave the clerk his driver's license. Then the customer demanded money, knocked down the clerk, and fled with $100–leaving his license behind. Police tracked down Wayne K. Brewer and arrested him for strong-arm robbery.
? Citizens Against Government Waste has found that nearly one out of every five dollars in the food stamp program is lost to waste, fraud, or abuse each year.
? In New York City, 15 city police officers have been accused of not paying income taxes. The officers claim that they don't have to pay because the city isn't part of the United States. For whatever it's worth, many of the officers are on the narcotics squad.
? As part of the security precautions for Vice President Al Gore's summer vacation, the Secret Service shut down a nude beach near the Cape Cod cottage where he was staying. Cape Cod? Nude beach? Al Gore? There's a joke in there, but it would never get past my editor.