BEER-CURB: Muslims in Malaysia have been barred from attending a concert by US hip hop band the Black Eyed Peas sponsored by Guinness which is owned by the worldâ€™s biggest spirits group Diageo.
The move comes after a Malaysian Islamic court sentenced a 32-year Muslim woman to be caned after she was caught drinking beer in a hotel and at a time when an opposition Islamic party has moved against beer sales.
The concert, part of celebrations of Guinness 250th birthday, asks on its websiteÂ â€œAre you a non-Muslim aged 18 years and above?â€ and if the response is no, access is not allowed.
Muslims account for 55% of the 27 million people in this Southeast Asian country and are barred from consuming alcohol although the rules are regularly flouted, especially in big cities like the capital, Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysiaâ€™s Guinness Anchor which sells Guinness and other brands had sales of 1,2 billion Malaysian ringgit (US$340,6 million) in 2008.
Even without alcohol, foreign bands are subject to scrutiny. Earlier this week, the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) said it wanted Danish band Michael Learns to Rock banned from performing as it would cause immorality.
Since 2007, PAS, the countryâ€™s second largest political group measured by party membership, has campaigned against performances by the likes of BeyoncÃ©, Rihanna, Gwen Stefani and Avril Lavigne. â€“â€“ Reuters.
LONESOME-CRIMINALS: Tokyo police will try to rein in a wave of shoplifting by lonely elderly people by involving them in community service, a police spokesman said last Thursday.
One out of four elderly shoplifters in the capital blamed their crime on loneliness, Japanese media quoted a police survey as saying. Another eight percent said it was because they had â€œno reason to liveâ€.
More than half the elderly shoplifters said they had no friends and 40% of them lived alone, media said.
â€œMaking shoplifters do volunteer work in the community is effective,â€ the Tokyo Shimbun quoted J F Oberlin University professor Akihiro Sakai, head of a police research panel set up to tackle shoplifting, as saying.
â€œInstead of increased punishment, I hope we can rehabilitate shoplifters with special care.â€
A police spokesman declined to confirm the details of the survey but said it would be released to the public soon.
Elderly shoplifting cases in Tokyo reached all-time highs last year, nearly catching up with the number of cases involving young offenders.
People 65 years or older accounted for 23% of the 17 800 known shoplifting cases in 2008, more than doubling in the past five years, media said.
Over 20% of Japanâ€™s population is aged 65 or over, with that figure set to double by 2050. â€“â€“ Reuters.
SPEED-DATE: Police in the US say a first date went from bad to worse when a Detroit man skipped out on the restaurant bill, then stole his dateâ€™s car.
Police say 23-year-old Terrance Dejuan McCoy had dinner with a woman at Buffalo Wild Wings in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale. The woman says the two met a week earlier at a Detroit casino and she knew McCoy only as â€œChrisâ€.
The woman told police that McCoy said he left his wallet in her car and asked for keys. He then sped away in the 2000 Chevrolet Impala.
The Daily Tribune of Royal Oak reports that police identified McCoy by a photo he had sent to the womanâ€™s cell phone, and his phone number.
McCoy is charged with unlawfully taking the car, a five-year felony. He waived a preliminary exam and was bound over for trial. â€“â€“ AP.