Tired of hard news about the American presidential election, embassies under siege and striking teachers’ unions? Then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s our weekly tally of the three oddest, funniest or just plain strangest stories from the global press this week. If you see anything ridiculously out of the ordinary next week, send it our way.
Mugabe says Jamaican men “drunkards,” “hooked on marijuana”
Zimbabwe’s president/tyrant Robert Mugabe has been called many not-so-nice names, but Jamaicans are now referring to Mugabe with a slightly tamer adjective: rude.
That’s because Mugabe has been quoted as saying Jamaican men are “drunkards and perennially hooked on marijuana.” As The Gleaner reports, Mugabe’s outlandish and unprovoked comments have caused a diplomatic backlash between the two nations, which historically have good relations.
Mugabe didn’t stop with the weed reference. In comments published by a Zimbabwean radio station, the president didn’t have many positive things to say about the Caribbean nation. Here’s the highlight reel:
“In Jamaica, they have freedom to smoke (men are always drunk) and universities are full of women.”
“The men want to sing and do not go to colleges (some are dreadlocked). Let us not go there.”
And: Jamaica is “a country of marijuana smokers, where women are now taking charge since men are always sloshed.”
Jamaican leaders took time away from their excessive drinking and pot smoking to slur out a few eloquent retorts to The Gleaner. Dr. Christopher Tufton, Jamaican Opposition Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, proclaimed, “I think that he should be called on to provide an explanation as to what he meant. It’s inappropriate and, frankly speaking, rude. He should apologise [sic] to the Jamaican people.”
Among his other accomplishments, Tufton holds a master’s degree from George State University. Not too shabby for a drunk stoner.
And in the comments below the article, “Military_man7” threw out this observation on Mugabe: “Senile forgetful hypocrite! Let him not forget how Bob Marley (a Jamaican) used his song “Zimbabwe” to pave the way and became the battle cry for his [Mugabe’s] revolutionary struggles.”
The bars — and the polls — are closed
There are all kinds of drug bans: no alcohol sales after 10pm, no cartoon characters promoting cigarettes. Every culture allows only certain levels of intoxication.
In Kenya, election day may soon be off limits for drinking enthusiasts. The Alcoholic Drinks Bill was introduced in the Kenyan Parliament this week — among its many provisions the bill would ban the sale and consumption of alcohol in the two days leading up to an election.
As The Star of Kenya reports, “Naivasha MP John Mututho, who is the architect of the Bill, has said it is aimed at ensuring people vote without being under any influence.”
OK…sort of reasonable. No one needs drunks staggering into voting booths and pulling the wrong lever. But…
“[MP Mututho] has also argued that some candidates buy supporters of their opponents beer during the elections so that they sleep and are unable to cast votes.”
We added the italics.
There are a number of more reasonable provisions in the bill: alcohol packaging that warns drinkers of the health dangers of excessive drinking, limitations on when alcohol advertisements can air on television and radio, and prohibitions on celebrities appearing in alcohol advertisements.
American readers — weary from a perpetual election cycle — may be wondering: isn’t drinking the only thing that makes elections tolerable?
Is that a monkey in your pants, or are you just happy to see the customs officer?
And if those two stories were too serious for you, let’s finish off with a few tales of people stuffing things into their underwear.
In a heist attempt that may seem elaborate but turned out to be quite amateurish, a Chinese man in Sri Lanka swallowed a fake diamond to allow a real thief to escape with a real diamond, reports Australia’a ABC.
Two men approached a jewel stall — one popped a fake diamond into his mouth, the other stuffed a $13,000 diamond into his pocket and walked away.
Police arrested the man with the jewel in his gut and monitored his bowel movements until he passed the diamond. A fake! they soon realized. Authorities believe the thieves collaborated and are trying to track down the accomplice.
And just for giggles: Did you hear the one about the other guy arrested with a monkey in his pants in an Indian airport? Or the one about the cop who found two bars of gold in a woman’s bra during a pat down?
Now you have.