Watercooler Stories

By United Press International   |   Oct. 11, 2004 at 6:30 AM
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Beijing installs condom machines

BEIJING, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Officials in Beijing plan to install 1,000 new condom vending machines to fight the spread of HIV and AIDS, the BBC reported.

Machines selling high-quality condoms will be placed in hotels, bars and universities, as well as on construction sites to target migrant workers from elsewhere in China.

Many of the 1,700 existing machines in Beijing are often out of service or empty and will be fixed.

The new machines will dispense condoms at 12 cents each -- with a quality guarantee, Chinese media reported.

Homeless Florida dogs sent to U.S.shelters

DENVER, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Dogs made homeless by recent hurricanes in Florida are being sent to other U.S. shelters that have space for them.

"A lot of these dogs were found homeless or were given up by their owners," said Jean Nelson, president and senior director of Colorado Animal Rescue in Loveland, Colo. "After the hurricanes, the people in Florida had no houses, they had no money and they did the best thing they could do for their dogs -- they gave them to us."

Planes and pilots have been donated, but Florida dog rescuers paid for the fuel, airport fees and the dogs' vaccinations, according to Martha Smith, president of the Colorado Federation of Animal Welfare Agencies.

"We're splitting the dogs up and taking them all over the state," Smith told the Denver Post.

"We have many places for these dogs where animal shelters have empty kennel space. And we took great care in placing them so that we would not burden shelters that are already full."

Brits face fines under new fireworks law

LONDON, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- British police have a new weapon to crack down on misuse of fireworks -- a $99 fine to be paid on the spot, the BBC reported Sunday.

The Home Office hopes new anti-fireworks laws calling for the fines will reduce the number of incidents in the run-up to Bonfire Night on Nov. 5.

"Fireworks are fun, but in the hands of an irresponsible minority, they can also make people's life a misery," said Home Office Minister Hazel Blears. "Law-abiding families should not have to live in fear of yobs throwing firecrackers, explosives smashing windows or loud bangs going off night after night."

Under the new rules, fireworks cannot be set off between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. The curfew can, however, be broken only on Bonfire Night, Diwali and the New Year celebrations.

The laws also forbid minors to carry or use fireworks in a public place.

British poll ranks top movie gangsters

LONDON, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Marlon Brando's portrayal of Don Vito Corleone in the "Godfather" has been voted the top movie don of all time, a poll in Britain found.

A UCI Cinema survey of gangster greats found Robert De Niro's role as Vito Corleone in the follow-up "Godfather II" as the second most favorite, Sky News reported.

De Niro won three spots on the survey of classic crooks -- he was named for his performance as Al Capone facing up to Kevin Costner's Elliot Ness in "The Untouchables" and as Sam "Ace" Rothstein in "Casino."

Ray Liotta's portrayal of Irish mobster Henry Hill in "Goodfellas" was ranked as the third favorite.

Also ranked in the top 10 were James Cagney in "Angels With Dirty Faces," Al Pacino in "Scarface," Vinnie Jones in "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels," Bob Hoskins in "The Long Good Friday" and Ben Kingsley in "Sexy Beast."

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