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Published September 29, 2006

Hey! He might be a terrorist! Let's check

And you thought it was tough traveling with a tube of toothpaste. Try doing it with a long beard and dark complexion. During a layover on the island of Mallorca, three German tourists on the Seville, Spain-to-Dortmund, Germany, flight made a Spanish university professor let them rifle through his carry-on because they thought he looked like a terrorist. Pablo Gutierrez Vega initially let them, but became way less accommodating when he realized they weren't undercover cops. Lawyers are now involved.

Germany still very touchy about Nazis

Germany is really sensitive about Nazi symbols. Even when they have that Ghostbusters slash thing over them. Juergen Kamm had a mail-order business selling anti-Nazi merchandise, part of what he called a campaign against far-right extremism, and prosecutors want to fine him $7,610 for it. "Swastikas shouldn't be displayed in such a striking way," prosecutor Bernd Haeussler said, adding that he wants a complete ban of Nazi symbols in public spaces. Post-World War II laws in Germany make it illegal to display the symbols. They don't even want you thinking about them, really. They feel really bad about the whole thing, still.


SEAL OF AUTHENTICITY: Maggie, an 11-year-old sea lion at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, has found her creative outlet. She has been working on her painting skills with trainer Kesha Phares since last year, and developed a style that consistently fills the right side of the canvas, leaving haunting blankness to the left (See below). Credit Phares for the colors, though. Sea lions are color blind.


Sex lives & water bills

- It seems Troy Anderson, esteemed mayor of Waldron, Ark., may have used the weight of his office for illicit purposes. Two women have accused Anderson, 72, of offering to make sure their water service stayed on despite delinquent bills in return for something other than a cashier's check. He's agreed to resign, but public service is in his blood. He's running for county judge.

- There was a big to-do in Coopersburg, Pa., about the Saturday night sex parties going on at the Silhouette Showbar. Coincidentally, when officials found out the club was $700 in arrears on its water bill, they shut it off. Building can't be occupied if there's no water. Totally unrelated to the efforts to close down the club, the officials say with a straight face.


"Mozart is enjoying all this, from somewhere beyond."

Michael Naumann, a former German culture minister, on news a German opera house is trying to reinstate a production of Idomeneo despite violent reaction from Muslims over a scene involving the severed head of the prophet Muhammad.

[Last modified September 29, 2006, 01:32:10]

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