? Chuck Haddad and Andre Khalifi thought they'd come up with a winning idea. They wanted to open a cigar lounge with a gourmet menu, a full bar, and Internet access. But when they applied for a business permit, they found that other residents of Fountain Valley, California, had their doubts. They were concerned about those cancer-causing cigars and about parking. But mostly, they didn't like the idea of mixing alcohol and the Internet. Said one concerned citizen at a public hearing, "How are we going to protect our women after these guys get liquored up, look at pornography, and then roam the neighborhood late at night?" It didn't help that the police opposed "uncontrolled Internet access." Said Detective Sgt. Paul McGinnis, "I've never actually been on the Internet, but my understanding is that you can get just about anything you want on there." Haddad and Khalifi's permit was denied.
? Mark Gusow didn't think his attorney was working hard enough to get him off on a perjury charge. So he fired her. The attorney, Laura Morrison, asked him to step outside the courtroom. There, she put him in a headlock and scratched his face.
? Let's hope God isn't listening to this one. Billy Graham said he is praying for China. "It is my prayer that in the coming days Hong Kong's materialism will not prevail in China," he said.
? And in Mexico City, a Roman Catholic bishop says that condoms should carry a warning sticker. In response to an advertising campaign promoting condoms as a way to reduce one's chances of getting AIDS, Bishop Ramon Godinez called for a label warning: "This product may be hazardous to your health." A Godinez supporter adds that the label should further read: "Even though you use a condom, you will probably get AIDS."
? Meanwhile, north of the border in San Diego, a U.S. Border Patrol agent faces disciplinary action. A photographer caught the man mooning a group of Mexican taxi drivers through a fence on the border.
? Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.) once got a perfect rating from the League of Conservation Voters, and he once forced the Air Force to study the impact of training flights on wildlife. So the menu at one of his fundraisers last year must have raised some eyebrows. He served moose meatballs, roast buffalo, roast venison, and smoked salmon.
? Who's the ideal boss? Bill Gates? Bill Cosby? Heidi Fleiss? Well, a poll of Japanese government bureaucrats saw Genghis Khan take the top place. Genghis, of course, brutally conquered a huge portion of Asia. Taking second place was the manager of a Japanese baseball team. Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto finished ninth.
? Leaders in Malaysia aren't too busy dealing with that country's economic crisis to deal with really important matters. The Malaysian state of Kelantan has banned darkness in theaters. The reason: Couples might take advantage of the darkness to kiss. So lights in theaters must remain on during the movie.
? A Malaysian judge has sentenced a Canadian reporter for the Far Eastern Economic Review to three months in jail for contempt of the judiciary. Murray Hiebert wrote an article about lawsuits in Malaysia. One case that he mentioned involved the wife of an appeals court judge who sued her son's school for dropping him from the debate team. That woman sued Hiebert. The court told the news media to remember that court cases should not be used for "commercial purposes."