In London, England, the Ealing Council is spending $285,000 a year for plainclothes police officers to hunt down people who put their trash out too early.
Starting July 1, anyone wishing to buy beer in a Tennessee convenience store or supermarket has to show photo ID. In an effort to stamp out underage drinking, lawmakers have required that everyone—no matter how gray, bald, or wrinkled—must prove they are over 21. They say it will get clerks into the habit of routinely asking for ID.
One afternoon in Tangerang, an Indonesian state that has adopted Islamic law, a woman named Lilis was waiting for a taxi on her way home from work. That was enough for the Islamic police to stop her. When they couldn't reach her husband, they charged her with prostitution.
Evan Herzoff videotaped some Denver police officers as they were arresting someone else. A cop asked for Herzoff's ID. He produced his ID and asked Officer Jeffrey Morgan for his business card. "Let's take you to jail instead," Morgan responded. Police handcuffed Herzoff and took him to a cell, where he spent the night. A charge of trespass against Herzoff was later dismissed, and the city paid him $8,500 to settle a lawsuit.
Officials from Malaysia's Islamic Religious Department raided the home of truck driver Magendran Sababathy and seized his wife Najeera Farvinli Mohamed Jalali. Magendran is a Hindu and his wife a Muslim. They were married in a Hindu ceremony. But under Malaysia's Islamic law, anyone who marries a Muslim must convert to Islam and no Muslim may convert to another religion. Islamic authorities declared the marriage invalid and took the woman to a "rehabilitation center" to strengthen her faith.
U.S. Navy veteran David Miller has been hospitalized three times in the last two years for kidney stones in Iowa City's Veterans Medical Center. Miller, an Orthodox Jew, says the hospital would not serve him kosher food and refused to contact a rabbi who could bring him food he could eat. But that doesn't mean they neglected his religious views entirely: He says that hospital staff and chaplains repeatedly proselytized him in an attempt to get him to convert to Christianity. Some of these attempts, he reports, occurred while he was experiencing severe chest pain and was hooked up to a heart monitor.
Mamand Mamandy was visiting family in Iran when a police car happened to drive by a barbeque they were holding. The cops spotted Mamandy drinking beer, arrested him, and took him to a police station, where he received 130 lashes.
When staff at a Hasland, England, post office heard a noise from a package they were handling, they called the police. The police, in turn, closed off the area for an hour and a half while they blew up the parcel. The package turned out to contain chocolate and a vibrator.