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It’s a weird world

WITHDRAWN: A chain of retail stores in Britain has withdrawn the sale of beds named Lolita and designed for six-year-old girls after furious parents pointed out that the name was synonymous with sexually active pre-teens.

n=justify>Woolworths said staff who administer the website selling the beds were not aware of the connection.

In Lolita, a 1955 novel by Vladimir Nabokov, the narrator becomes sexually involved with his 12-year-old stepdaughter — but Woolworths staff had not heard of the classic novel or two subsequent films based on it. Hence they saw nothing wrong with advertising the Lolita Midsleeper Combi, a whitewashed wooden bed with pull-out desk and cupboard intended for girls aged about six until a concerned mother raised the alarm on a parenting website. — Reuters.

CONVICTED: A 21-year-old German man has been convicted of sending a photograph of his penis to an unknown woman via mobile phone, authorities said on Wednesday.

“We all had a bit of a laugh when we saw the thing,” said Christian Kropp, presiding judge at the court in the eastern town of Sondershausen. The woman reported the sender to police after receiving the photo attachment of the man’s genitals, the court said. Officers found evidence he may have sent similar images to other women.

The man did not explain his motive but expressed remorse for the photo, Kropp said. He was fined 150 euros (US$220) for distributing pornographic material. — Reuters.

MYTH: Britons are losing their grip on reality, according to a poll out Monday which showed that nearly a quarter think Winston Churchill was a myth while the majority reckon Sherlock Holmes was real.

The survey found that 47% thought the 12th century English king Richard the Lionheart was a myth.

And 23% thought World War II prime minister Churchill was made up. The same percentage thought Crimean War nurse Florence Nightingale did not actually exist.

Three percent thought Charles Dickens, one of Britain’s most famous writers, is a work of fiction himself. Indian political leader Mahatma Gandhi and Battle of Waterloo victor the Duke of Wellington also appeared in the top 10 of people thought to be myths.

Meanwhile, 58% thought Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective Holmes actually existed; 33% thought the same of WE Johns’ fictional pilot and adventurer Biggles.

UKTV Gold television surveyed 3 000 people. — AFP.

SUING: An Australian transsexual is suing two policemen for allegedly telling her unsuspecting boyfriend about her gender switch, leading to a violent confrontation, it was reported on Wednesday.

Brigitte Fell has launched a lawsuit accusing the officers of breaching privacy laws by telling her then-boyfriend about the sex change while he was in police custody, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph reported.

Constables Tyrone Stacey and Brendan Ritson pleaded not guilty in a Sydney court Tuesday and could face two years jail if convicted of unlawfully disclosing information, the newspaper reported.

It said Fell’s boyfriend was picked up by police for suspected theft in September 2006 and while he was in custody Stacey allegedly accessed confidential information about Fell, revealing she was born a man.

Ritson, who was looking over his colleague’s shoulder, allegedly shouted to Jacobson that he was having sexual relations with “a bloke”.

Fell told the court that when Jacobson was released he stormed into her flat and repeatedly punched her in the face, resulting in her hospitalisation for several days.

She said she had not previously revealed her surgery to Jacobson, her boyfriend of about two months, because “he was temperamental enough”. — AFP.

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