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Jockstrip: The world as we know it

By ELLEN BECK, United Press International   |   July 22, 2002 at 4:00 AM   |   Comments

THINGS WE DON'T UNDERSTAND

The Sun tabloid in London reports mourners were speechless when a man they thought they had buried walked into a prayer session after the funeral.

The newspaper reports Che Mohamad, 22, had been identified by his father as a drowning victim. He had been missing for 10 days. His father, Abdul, said he recognized his son's features on the decomposed body.

As prayers were offered at his house following the funeral, however, the paper reports Che just strolled through the door.

Abdul, who lives in Selising, near the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, said, "It was as if nothing had happened."


NEWS OF OTHER LIFE FORMS

Japanese shore crabs, a square-shaped crustacean that threatens soft-shell steamer clams, mussels and lobsters, were discovered this month by Cornell University marine biologists in Owl's Head, Maine, on the shores of Penobscot Bay.

The detection of what biologists call a "crabby" and "aggressive" creature has the potential to hurt Maine's seafood industry. The Japanese shore crabs feast voraciously on mussels, clams and other shellfish.

Penobscot Bay is the most-northern point along the Atlantic seaboard where these crabs have been found. They had been seen before in the waters of Chesapeake Bay, Long Island Sound, the Jersey shore and the coast of Massachusetts, but were not expected to be found this far north so soon.

The crabs likely arrived on the Atlantic shores by way of dumped ballast water from an Asian merchant ship. They have been seen as far south as North Carolina.


TODAY'S SIGN THE WORLD IS ENDING

Ringling Bros. is criticizing a demonstration by the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in which a PETA protester, dressed as a devil, danced on the grave of animal trainer Gunther Gebel-Williams on the one-year anniversary of his death.

"It's shameful that our critics feel that they should desecrate the resting place of a man beloved by millions who ushered in the era of respect for all animals," Ringling Bros. said in a statement.

Gebel-Williams, one of the world's renowned animal trainers, was popular with American audiences for his flashy style and rapport with animals. Ringling Bros. said he introduced "a new style of animal training based on mutual respect" and "forever changed the standards of animal training."

Kenneth Feld, producer of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, has challenged PETA and other animal rights organizations to stop "spending their donors hard-earned contributions on silly stunts and start spending that money on providing care for needy animals."


AND FINALLY, TODAY'S UPLIFTING STORY

The Los Angeles School District is trying a unique solution for a major problem -- students who cannot read. In a program being watched around the nation, the L.A. Unified School District is beginning a remedial reading program for 35,000 middle school and high school students who lack skills they should have learned by second or third grade, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Experts say it's an unusual program in that it targets teens instead of elementary students and because so many children are involved.

The Times reports all 123 secondary campuses in the district will have the worst readers in sixth through ninth grades give up electives -- such as music and art -- to attend mandatory classes for up to two hours per day. These classes will stress phonics usually taught to 6-year-olds.

The paper says English teachers are shelving classics such as "Romeo and Juliet" for rudimentary storybooks with big pictures, large print and sentences as simple as, "Dad had a sad lad."

© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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