Category: World


Who says killers can’t be stylish?

Anders Behring Breivik, the gunman who killed 77 people after a shooting rampage at a youth camp and a bombing in Oslo on July 22, insists on wearing Lacoste sweaters on his trips out of prison. And Lacoste is not happy about it.

The Telegraph reported that the French company has called Breivik’s love of Lacoste a PR “nightmare” and according to Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, Lacoste execs have written to Oslo police demanding the terrorist be stopped from wearing their clothes.

Breivik has donned a bright red sweater with the signature alligator logo while driving in and out of prison. But according to Dagbladet, he also wore a black sweater by Lacoste in a photograph he used for his manifesto, “2083: A European Declaration of Independence” (which can be read in full online) and has said that wearing the luxury brand “makes it possible to act as an educated European of the conservative character.”

Needless to say, Lacoste would like to get the confessed terrorist out of its preppy styles.

An Oslo police spokesperson told the Telegraph, “The company feels that such a man sporting their clothes could do considerable harm to their reputation.”

But it may be pointless, writes DagbladetThe newspaper interviewed a local marketing professorwho said that Lacoste is overreacting and thus making the PR worse.

“I do not think there’s much else they can do now than to continue to work to make Lacoste to the strong brand it is,” he said. “If they are asked they should strongly condemn what happened, but otherwise there is nothing they can do with this.”

It remains to be seen whether Lacoste will actually succeed at ripping the fuzzy red sweater from Breivik’s hands.

 

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Two Snout Pig

 

 

A baby pig in northern China is hogging all the attention in his litter — mainly because he has two snouts.

The two-snouted pig was born in Deshengtang, Jilin province, northern China, and was named “Xiaobao,” which translates roughly into “Babe,” the name of the famous movie character, according to the West Australian.

But while the duo-nosed porker is getting lots of public attention, his owner, farmer Li Zhenjun, says Babe hasn’t been able to pig out very much.

“The mouths aren’t much of an advantage because his head is very heavy and he gets pushed around by the others,” Li said.

Officially, it’s the Year of the Rabbit in Chinese astrology, but one could make an argument that it’s also the year of the two-snouted pig.

Earlier this year, a pig with two mouths was, like Babe, also born on a farm in the Jilin province, and, like Babe, had its share of problems, according to PigProgress.net.

Its owner, Bai Xuejin, said that while the piglet was able to eat and drink from both mouths, it could not suckle because its head was so large, so it had to be raised by hand until it was old enough to eat solid food.

Luckily, that pig was saved from the chopping block and is being used by Bai as a way to attract visitors to the farm.

Thousands of people have waited in line for hours and paid to see what one man claims is a real fairy in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The so-called fairy — which skeptics say closely resembles a popular plastic toy — soaks in a jar of formaldehyde inside Jose Maldonado’s home, according to news agency IANS.

The 22-year-old unemployed bricklayer said that when he found the magical sprite, it was still alive.

“I was picking guavas and I saw a twinkling. I thought it was a firefly. I picked it up and felt that it was moving; when I looked at it I knew that it was a fairy godmother,” Maldonado told EFE, a Mexican news agency.

It’s unclear how the two-centimeter tall, red and gold fairy died. But now she’s on display in a small dish.

Even though it’s hard to believe that Maldonado hunted down a real-life Tinkerbell, more than 3,000 visitors paid the equivalent of $1.60 for a glimpse of the pixie.

Mexican news stations have filmed long lines of people waiting in what is described as one of the poorest and most dangerous neighborhoods of Guadalajara to see Maldonado’s fairy.

Bedouin smugglers in Rafah, Egypt, smoked in front of cars from Libya that they will transport through tunnels to Gaza.

Cars are driven from the chaos inLibya to this small patch of sand amid the fig trees in the North Sinai desert, where Palestinians can pick out their model and haggle over the price. Then they wait in Gaza for delivery through tunnels snaking beneath the border.

The police have all but disappeared from the northern Sinai since the Egyptian revolution, and the smuggling business has grown so exponentially that Hamas, the militant group controlling Gaza, recently decided to limit the car imports to 30 a week for fear of pollution and traffic congestion in the narrow Mediterranean enclave, smugglers say.

“There are no police around to check,” one smuggler said as a white Hyundai Tucson with Libyan plates pulled into the lot.

As law enforcement returns elsewhere in Egypt six months after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, there is still almost no sign of the police in Bedouin-dominated North Sinai, the region along the border with Israel that has long been a center of criminal activity. Mr. Mubarak treated it as virtual enemy territory and flooded it with police officers as he sought to help enforce an Israeli blockade of Gaza.

And now the withdrawal of his security forces has unleashed not only a smuggling bonanza but also a more violent backlash against his Israel policy. Six unexplained bombing attacks (the first one failed to go off) have repeatedly shut down a pipeline that delivers natural gas to Israel under a Mubarak-era contract that is wildly unpopular because of its association with both Israel and corruption. The interruption of the gas supply has done as much as any formal policy change to strain relations between the two allies. No one has been arrested in any of the attacks.

The Egyptian military announced over the weekend that it was deploying more troops to the border region to help with security, but Bedouin around Rafah said Monday that they had noticed no change.

And nowhere is the breakdown in law and order more evident than in the car business, where the steady supply of inventory from the equally lawless border with Libya more than 600 miles away has provided another unexpected boon of the Arab Spring. Until Hamas began to slow the flow last month, as many as 250 cars a week went through the tunnels, smugglers said, a parade of vehicles from one pocket of revolutionary lawlessness to another.

Smugglers said they earned a generous profit on cars purchased in Libya. One said he might buy a Libyan car for the equivalent of $22,000 and sell it in Gaza for about $30,000. Another said he bought a black BMW x6 sports car for $80,000 and planned to sell it for $100,000, after a few desert joy rides for himself. Smugglers say they pay about $6,000 to Hamas and the tunnel owner and, after various other bribes, typically pocket $2,000 to $2,500 in profit per car.

Though unemployment is high in Gaza, there are plenty of salaried Palestinian government officials, small-business people and those active in the black market who can afford to buy a car.

On the streets of North Sinai’s regional capital, El Arish, a smuggler pointed out the illicit cars. The irregular bolts on the license plates gave away a stolen black Toyota Hilux pickup, and a white Hyundai without any plates was a model sold in Libya but unavailable in Egypt. The smuggler spoke on condition of anonymity because, after all, his work was illegal, though he and others said that since the revolution the authorities seemed to worry only about political activities, not criminal acts.

“We have had no problems at all since the revolution — not even close calls,” a smuggler said as he puffed on a water pipe with a group of confederates around a table along the beach at a local hotel.

The Mubarak government practiced an inconsistent combination of tacit tolerance for some smuggling combined with capricious half measures to cut it off, including the occasional prosecution. There were dozens of police checkpoints around the border area, where smugglers say they need to pay steady bribes to be able move their goods. But of the more than 250 people given long jail terms for smuggling over the years, most were never even caught but were sentenced in absentia, with the police doing little to track them down.

For years under Mr. Mubarak there was deep animosity between the local population and the police, who were almost exclusively recruited from outside the area. In an interview, the region’s governor, Abdul-Wahab Mabrouk, said the government was abolishing many of those sentences in absentia “to make the presence of the police easier.” He insisted that the government was bringing the police back, and said he hoped “this is a good start and will return stability.” So far, however, there is no sign of the police returning.

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