Gerardo Flores, 19, was convicted of murder in June in Lufkin, Texas, in the death of the 5-month-old fetus of his girlfriend, Erica Basoria. Flores admitted that he had stood on Basoria’s stomach several times at her request to induce a miscarriage, but Basoria had told authorities that she had also punched herself in the stomach several times. Under Texas law, killing a fetus is a capital offense, and so Flores automatically received a life sentence, but Basoria could not be charged because of her constitutional right to abortion.
THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT
British entrepreneur Colin Dowse recently introduced Sprayonmud (about US$14 a quart), which is dirty water chemically treated for greater stickiness, so urban SUV owners can pass themselves off as all-terrain adventurers. And the maker of Doggles (which for several years has sold sunglasses for dogs at about $25) now offers corrective-lens Doggles starting at $75, which veterinary ophthalmologists can prescribe as alternatives to $2,000 lens-replacement surgery, according to a March report by KMGH-TV in Denver.
LEADING ECONOMIC INDICATORS
New York state Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat introduced a bill in June requiring a minimum wage for comedians (at least $125 per 20-minute show at comedy clubs on weekends and $28 on weekdays). And North Carolina correctional officials began rethinking inmate manufacturing programs recently when they discovered that, even though they pay prisoners only $3 a day in their T-shirt-making concession, suppliers in Bangladesh can make the shirts for 38 percent less.
MAN’S WORST FRIEND
In March, Mark Allen Shook, 43, and his dog attempted to flee Mountain Ranch, Calif. Police officers who had come to arrest him on a domestic violence charge. He was finally captured after a chaotic fight during which the dog bit off part of Shook’s ear. And in Eltham, England, in May, a family’s dog, chasing a ball, bumped the ladder on which a man was standing to trim some bushes with a chainsaw, causing him to fall and fatally slice the neck of his wife, who was holding the ladder.
MORE THINGS TO WORRY ABOUT
Five Buddhist monks in Bangkok were defrocked in May after a street fight culminating years of hostility between two temples, according to a Reuters dispatch. Said one (who used brass knuckles), “When an ordinary person is given a middle-finger sign, he will be mad. So will I.” And in May, a 1,500-pound camel named Poon, roaming around his home at the Mayle Farm in Shinnston, W.Va., decided to sit down on top of a woman who was painting a fence. No one could hear her muffled screams, but she managed to call 911 on her cell phone, and help arrived just as Poon had begun to bite her.
PEOPLE DIFFERENT FROM US
In March, The Australian newspaper identified an upswing in the business of some beauticians who have responded to customers’ desires to lighten the skin around their anuses. A beautician in Sydney said she had long been helping sex workers for that condition but that lately the clients are civilians trying to please boyfriends who are taken by how “clean and light” porno actresses seem. Said another beautician of the ingredient she uses, “I explain that it will give them eczema and [other problems], but they want it anyway.” MTW