? Little noticed in President Clinton's anti-smoking initiatives is a call to use kids as law-enforcement tools. To qualify for federal funds, states must use minors in sting operations to catch merchants who sell tobacco products to the underaged. The feds say this won't put kids in any danger.
? The government of the Malaysian state Selangor is doing its best to promote family values by ordering karaoke bars to close at 11 p.m. Seems many husbands were staying out all night at these establishments rather than going home to their wives. This supposedly leads to quarrels when the husbands do make it home. The curfew will remain in place as long as the government "is responsible for avoiding confrontations in the bedroom."
? In Somalia, the top court of the government that controls the northern half of the country has banned pornographic films and dancing, and ordered clean-shaven men to grow beards. So that's what happened to Robert Bork….
? There's a hot new tourist attraction in Dallas that's lining up customers. For just $25 you can ride in an open-top limousine making its way through Dealey Plaza. When you pass by the Texas School Book Depository you'll hear the crack of recorded rifle fire, then the limo will speed up and roar toward Parkland Memorial Hospital. In case you don't get it, the trip is a recreation of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Many in Dallas aren't happy about the venture.
? Mothers Against Drunk Driving has demanded that Anheuser-Busch yank ads featuring bullfrog characters because a large percentage of children tell pollsters they recognize the characters. MADD calls the frogs the Joe Camels of beer ads.
? A Chippewa Indian leader in Wisconsin has been charged with fondling women during spiritual ceremonies. The accused says that the touching was part of the ceremony and that the women consented to it.
? Ronald McDonald is suing McDonald's. Well, sort of. A Scotsman by that name has threatened to sue the firm if it doesn't change its name. He says that it hurts his image and the image of all the other McDonalds in the world. "I wish to register a complaint about my name being commandeered by a clown," he explained.
? Call them zombie bases. San Diego's Naval Training Center is due to be closed next year. The Army's Fort Sheridan, near Chicago, officially closed three years ago. But the Pentagon continues to spend millions of dollars for new construction or renovation on these and other bases that have been closed or are soon to be closed. The Pentagon explains that its hands are tied because contracts for construction for the bases were made before they were put on the closing list. In any event, they don't want to leave any building standing around half finished.
? A new audit reveals that the government of France has $500 million in unpaid, overdue phone bills.
? Stephanie Honore is a 17-year-old with some big concerns. She has repeatedly written President Clinton expressing her worries over AIDS, education, animal rights, and the environment. Clinton never answered. So each letter from the caring youngster became increasingly hostile. Finally, she threatened to blow up the White House. That got a response…from the Secret Service.