Mouth-shaped urinals offend
A sumptuous new French restaurant in Sydney said yesterday it would remove two urinals designed to resemble a lipsticked mouth, apologizing for any offense they have caused. The Ananas Bar and Brasserie said the bright red-lipped urinals shaped like an open mouth were “a commonly used European design piece from female Dutch artist Meike van Schijndel.” “We sincerely apologize if they have caused offense. They are being removed today,” a spokeswoman said in a statement. The stylish restaurant opened three weeks ago, with the Sydney Morning Herald’s food reviewer describing the urinals as “no real surprise here at Ananas, merely adding to the extraordinary collision of statements and intent.” However, former political adviser and writer Anne Summers said the design was offensive. “Misogyny is very widespread and this is just an example of misogyny,” Summers said. “The concept is pretty challenging and confronting. They’re asking men to put their dicks in these mouths as urinals.”
Magazine to be prosecuted
A popular children’s magazine is to be prosecuted for telling its young readers how to make a petrol bomb, officials said on Tuesday. The latest edition of Qaws Quzah, Arabic for “Rainbow,” featured a piece about the history of petrol bombs in its “Knowledge Corner,” including detailed instructions and a diagram. “It is an improvised weapon that is often used in riots and acts of sabotage, because it is easy to make and use,” the article read. The magazine, read for decades by boys and girls aged five to 15, has no political orientation, but the article touched a raw nerve in a country still seeking to tame the unrest stirred up by last year’s successful revolution, the first of the Arab Spring. The Ministry for Women and Family Affairs said the article “encourages violent and terrorist thought,” as well as endangering children’s lives by “encouraging the use of Molotov cocktails in acts of vandalism or terrorism.” It said it would ask a magistrate to open a case against the publishers.
Local government sacked
The Cabinet on Tuesday sacked the entire local government of the southern city of Reggio Calabria to stop it from coming under the direct control of the local mafia. Mayor Demetrio Arena and all 30 city councilors were sacked under the provision announced in Rome by Interior Minister Anna Maria Cancellieri. It was the first time that the government of a provincial capital had been dismissed en masse because of suspected links to organized crime. The action was taken after inspectors from Rome determined that a number of councilors of the city, which has a population of 180,000 people, had ties to the ’Ndrangheta, the local version of the Sicilian mafia.
Arrests over kidnap stunt
Police in Zurich started a manhunt to find the victim of an armed kidnapping, only to discover it was a re-enactment by two fans of scenes from detective films using replica air guns, authorities said. Passers-by called police late on Monday after seeing a man pulled into a car. After a search, authorities found the car and two Airsoft guns, which looked very similar to real weapons. Police arrested the two occupants of the vehicle, a 20-year-old Swiss man and a 22-year-old Spaniard, who during questioning revealed the whole episode had just been for show. The two men were released from custody, but face charges for carrying weapons illegally.