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Offbeat News

Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, September 22, 2005
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Condoms named after Clinton, Lewinsky

BEIJING - A rubber company in China has begun marketing condoms under the brand names Clinton and Lewinsky.

Spokesman Liu Wenhua, of the Guangzhou Rubber Group, said the company was handing out 100,000 free Clinton and Lewinsky condoms as part of a promotion to raise consumer awareness of its new products.

Liu said the company had chosen to use the Clinton name because consumers viewed the 42nd president as a responsible person, who would want to stress safe sex as an effective way to prevent the spread of the HIV virus.

"The names we chose are symbols of people who are responsible and dedicated to their jobs," he said. "I believe Bill Clinton cannot be unhappy about this because he's a very generous man."

Clinton has campaigned aggressively for heightened AIDS awareness in China, where the disease is spreading rapidly. He was accused of having a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky, a former White House intern.

Couple fined for kissing after wedding

NEW DELHI - India may be the land of the Kamasutra, the ancient treatise on sex, but public displays of affection remain strictly taboo in the country's hinterlands, as an Israeli couple found out.

They were fined 500 Indian rupees ($11) each for embracing and kissing after getting married in a traditional Hindu ceremony in the northwestern Indian town Pushkar, the Asian Age newspaper reported yesterday.

The Israeli Embassy in New Delhi confirmed the incident and identified the couple as Alon Orpaz and Tehila Salev, who decided to get married while visiting India. The embassy did not provide additional details.

The Asian Age said priests at Pushkar's Brahma temple were so incensed when the couple smooched as hymns were still being chanted that they filed a police complaint.

A court in Pushkar then charged them with indecency and ordered them to pay the fine or face 10 days in prison, the newspaper reported. The couple decided to pay, it said.

"We will not tolerate any cultural pollution of this sort," the newspaper quoted a priest, Ladoo Ram Sharma, as saying.

Asian Age reported that the priests planned to ask the government to require tourists to be appropriately dressed when visiting the holy town and its temples.

Pushkar, located on the banks of Pushkar Lake, is a popular Hindu pilgrimage spot that's also frequented by foreign tourists, who come for the town's annual cattle fair and camel races.

Marijuana raid turns out to be sunflower bust

BEL AIRE, Kan. - The police thought they'd found marijuana plants growing in a former mayor's back yard. They took pictures, got a search warrant and went back for a closer look. They found sunflowers.

Harold and Carolyn Smith had grown the plants from seeds given to them by their son, a wildlife biologist.

Kansas is known as the Sunflower State - which made the error even more baffling, the Smiths' attorney said.

"That plant on our state flag is not a marijuana plant, but a sunflower," said attorney Dan Monnat.

During the search, Monnat said, at least 10 officers went through the Smiths' house, checking drawers and closets and videotaping everything.

The couple is wondering how such a mistake could happen.

"These are very community-oriented people who have been active in their community affairs for years," Monnat said.

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