And now the most engaging two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
Age, Smoking, Weight and Disease Alert
A doctor's group that wants to alert women that advancing age, smoking, excessive weight and sexually transmitted diseases endanger their fertility has run into a problem. The group, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, is trying to place provocative ads warning of the dangers on movie screens and in malls. Last year, the National Organization for Women complained that the group's ads warning about age and fertility were "scare tactics" that sent a negative message to career women. This year, the Washington Post reports that mall and theater mangers rejected the ads, saying they lacked "entertainment value."
Europe Mum on Anti-Semitism?
A liberal lawyer's group reports a sharp rise in anti-Jewish activity in Europe, but complains that European governments "do not accurately report or effectively combat anti-Semitic violence." The Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights, based in New York, said that "discrimination against Jews...has increasingly taken the form of racist threats and violence in a pattern across much of Europe, from Russia to the United Kingdom." But the report said governments don't register such offenses for what they are, preferring to treat them as political protests.
Clean of Corruption?
The United States ranks 16th in the world in public perceptions of its degree of corruption in a survey of public opinion about 102 countries. The United States came in ahead of Germany, Spain, France and Italy, but ranked behind Britain, which finished 10th, and behind Finland, Denmark and New Zealand, which finished at the top. The survey, done by a group called Transparency International, found Bangladesh at the bottom, closely followed by Nigeria and Paraguay. Such Muslim countries as Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia were not included, presumably because of a lack of survey data about them.
Tallying Up the Expenses...
A couple of journalists attending that Environmental Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, may need to do some creative expense accounting before they get home. It seems they were drugged and robbed by a couple of prostitutes who slipped them the Rophynol, often called the date-rape drug, then stole their money, cameras and cell phones. Police won't identify the victims, reluctant it seems to talk about the case, since the two hookers apparently bribed cops to get inside the summit site.