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It’s a weird world

DETERMINED: A 60-year-old farmer was so determined to marry a 28-year-old estate worker in Malaysia he kidnapped her when she turned down his proposal, police said on Monday.

The farmer forced the woman in

to his car while she was walking home from work in eastern Terengganu state, said K Manoharan, deputy head of the state’s criminal investigations department.

“The family had initially agreed (to the marriage), but she did not want to go ahead with it. That angered him,” Manoharan told the Associated Press.

But a friend of the woman witnessed her abduction and told police, who contacted the man’s family to persuade him to free her. Several hours later, the woman was released unharmed and the farmer surrendered to police, Manoharan said.

“He changed his mind when he knew police were looking for him,” he said.

He said the man had been freed from police custody but was still under investigation. He declined to identify the reluctant couple. — AP.

BANNED: With a councilman saying underwear “is called underwear for a reason”, another Cajun-country town has banned saggy pants from its streets.

The ordinance, passed unanimously on Monday by the Port Allen City Council, requires pants to be secured at the waist so they do not fall below the hips, expose underwear or create indecent exposure.

Violators could be fined US$25 to US$250 for a first offence, and US$250 to US$500 for repeat offences.

Council member Ray Helen Lawrence said she voted for the ordinance only because she got numerous calls from constituents who consider the look a fashion faux pas. Many said they associate droopy outerwear with crime, she said.

Council member Hugh Riviere said he didn’t want to view other people’s undergarments, saying it “is called underwear for a reason”.

Stephanie DeLaney, one of two women asking the council to reject the proposal, said lightheartedly that she has lost weight, so she sometimes wears baggy pants.

“I’d hate for someone to call the cops on me for that,” she said.

Seven other Louisiana communities have passed similar droopy drawers ordinances: Eunice, Shreveport, Alexandria, Delcambre, Mansfield, Lafourche and Pointe Coupee parishes. Two others — Lake Charles and the St Mary Parish town of Baldwin — are considering them. The city of Natchitoches rejected a similar proposal. — AP.

MASKED: Forget going on a hunger strike. In Colombia, an unemployed man has sewn shut his mouth and locked himself behind an iron mask to demand the government attend to his family’s desperate economic plight.

Luis Miguel Aldana (52) told the Associated Press that he adopted the peculiar form of protest after being locked out of his apartment in Bogota. Instead of paying two months of rent, Aldana says he bought shoes for his three children.

He is demanding the government provide a loan to jump-start a cottage textile business and pay health care bills for his wife and children. Without the loan, he says his family will end up living on the streets.

“I’m doing this to get attention because people have a heart of iron and also a face of iron — they don’t listen to anybody and think this is a joke,” said Aldana, speaking out of the corner of his mouth that is not sewn shut. Aldana currently is living in a neighbour’s house, where he sits in bed with his hands and legs shackled in chains.

Despite soaring economic growth the past three years, Colombia’s unemployment rate remained stubbornly high at 10,6% in August. — AP.

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