If it was good enough for the Nigerians, it’s good enough for the Arafats. At least that’s the story doing the rounds on email this week. Most of Folklaw’s staff last week received an electronic plea, supposedly from Nadia Arafat (wife of the late Fathi Arafat, brother to Yasser Arafat, in case you didn’t know), headed “Attention dear”. It goes on to ask you to “forgive my indignation to contact you through this medium without prior notice” and explains the usual rigmarole. She has to access money from a security firm in London, but needs your help. The money comes to the paltry sum of US$25.5 million, which she is sure is “enough for any investment of ones choice in a life’s time”.
Not the cookie
If reading Flowers in the Attic scared you off accepting milk and cookies from your grandma as a child, it could have in fact been teaching you vital survival skills — at least if you were living in Japan. The number of crimes committed by the elderly has risen sharply in the land of sushi and cherry blossoms, a trend that has officials concerned about the rapidly ageing population as people live longer and the birth rate falls.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that theft was the crime most often committed by the elderly last year, but most disturbing, 141 elderly people were arrested for murder — more than three times the number in 1990. Almost one-third of the victims of those crimes were spouses. This included an 81 year-old man arrested on suspicion of strangling his 73 year-old wife. He said he had killed her following an argument over food she had prepared.
Well, if his dinner wasn’t up to scratch, you can kind of understand his angst.
A 33-year-old South African transvestite managed to practise as an advocate for two months before it was discovered not only that he was not a woman, but also that he had no legal qualifications. Polly Motene Poswayo has been jailed for almost four years, but not before he secured bail for several clients, successfully defended others and finalised divorces.
Not only that, but at least one member of staff at the courthouse had made a pass at him. Port Elizabeth magistrate Ken Cooney warned Poswayo that bogus lawyers could not be allowed to “make a mockery of our system”. Apparently only real ones can.
We’ll get it there
Two students from Cambridge University have been fined after sending a hamster through the post. The 19 year-olds, David Jordan and James Cole, both admitted to “abandoning a hamster in circumstances likely to cause suffering”. BBC reported last month that the pair carried out the deed after getting drunk at a party.
Jordan was fined £750 ($1,766) and Cole £500 ($1,177). Their prank was discovered by postman Robert Maher when he emptied a post box in Market Square in the city — the hamster’s head was poking out of the package where it had managed to chew through. A vet’s examination found the animal to be unharmed, but veterinarian Jillian Pearson testified that the animal had been without access to food and water and was at risk of being crushed.
Both men have also been banned from keeping animals for the next 10 years and each ordered to pay £100 ($235). Christina Metcalfe, who mitigated for Jordan, told the court: “These two young men are clearly very intelligent and have made a very foolish and stupid error”. An understatement, maybe?