The rights of women are severely restricted in Pakistan’s tribal areas and among Muslim fundamentalists, but the rights of the country’s estimated 50,000 “transgenders” blossomed in April when the Pakistani Supreme Court ordered the government to accept a “third sex” designation on official documents (instead of forcing a choice of “male” or “female”). The court further recommended that transgenders be awarded government job quotas and suggested “tax collector” as one task for which they are particularly suited, since their presence at homes and businesses still tends to embarrass debtors into paying up quickly.
The Census Bureau got it right this time around for Lost Springs, Wyoming. In 2000, it had missed 80 percent of the population (counting 1 instead of 5). The new total (4) is correct, since two people subsequently died, and one moved in.
Occasionally—as News of the Weird has reported—patrons of art galleries mistake ordinary objects as the actual art (for example, solemnly “contemplating” a broom inadvertently left behind by a janitor), and sometimes the opposite mistake occurs. At the Boijmans van Beuningen museum in Rotterdam in May, a wandering patron absent-mindedly traipsed through a re-creation of Wim T. Schippers’s floor-level Peanut Butter Platform—a 40-square-foot installation of the creamy spread. (The museum manager had declined to fence in the exhibit, which he said would spoil its beauty.)
REDNECKS ON PARADE
(1) Sharon Newling, 58, was arrested in Salisbury, North Carolina, in April and charged with shooting at her stepson with a .22-caliber rifle. She denied shooting “at” him, but said she was just shooting toward him “to make him stop working on his truck.” (2) A 25-year-old man in Okaloosa County, Florida, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor trespassing after he entered the Club 51 Gentlemen’s Club, from which he had been banned after a February incident. The man told police that he knew he had been banned from a strip club but couldn’t remember which one.
AND HE SOLD NUCLEAR SECRETS ON CRAIGSLIST
Filipino Henson Chua, working in the U.S., was indicted in March for illegally bringing back into the country an American-made military spy plane and openly offering it for sale for $13,000 on eBay. Sophisticated equipment such as the RQ-11B “Raven” Unmanned Aerial Vehicle requires high-level government approval to prevent acquisition by U.S. enemies. ■