Watercooler Stories

By United Press International  |  April 6, 2006 at 6:30 AM
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Mock anchor has own take on Scalia flap

NEW YORK, April 6 (UPI) -- Mock anchorman Stephen Colbert poked fun at the flap between U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and The Boston Herald, the newspaper reported.

The commotion began last week when Scalia flicked his fingers under his chin in response to a Herald reporter's question about people who question Scalia's impartiality because of his religious beliefs.

The newspaper termed Scalia's response a "Sicilian salute."

This week, Colbert, star of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report," made fun of the newspaper and the jurist.

"There's an old saying where I come from. I honor you with all the treasure in my coin purse," said Colbert while grabbing his groin. "That's for you, Boston Herald!"

While the newspaper characterized Scalia's gesture as obscene, the jurist denied the claim.

"(Scalia) was just saying he had no opinion about the question the reporter was asking him," said Colbert. "I can sympathize because I've had my gestures misinterpreted dozens of times."

Indian text compares women to donkeys

RAJASTHAN, India, April 6 (UPI) -- Activists have demanded and won removal of a chapter in a 9th grade Indian textbook that compared women and politicians to donkeys, a report said.

The chapter was part of a Hindi textbook prepared for the school board of Rajasthan, India, and written the late eminent Hindi satirist Gopalprasad Vyas, the Times of India reported.

"A donkey is like a housewife," the offending chapter said. "It has to toil all day and, like her, may even have to give up food and water. In fact, the donkey is a shade better, for while the housewife may sometimes complain and walk off to her parents' home, you'll never catch the donkey being disloyal to his master."

Education officials said the chapter was intentionally humorous.

"The same chapter also compares the donkey to politicians, calling the animal thick-skinned," one official told the newspaper.

However, given numerous complaints, officials said the offending chapter is being removed.

Fake sheik sentenced for selling bogus art

ST. LOUIS, April 6 (UPI) -- A man who posed as a Saudi sheik to sell a fake Rembrandt painting to an undercover FBI agent has been sentenced to prison for his role in the scam.

A U.S. federal court judge in St. Louis on Tuesday sentenced Majed Ihmoud, 53, of St. Charles, Mo., to five months of in prison and five months of home confinement, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Ihmoud pleaded guilty in October to a charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud in the attempted sale last August of a fake copy of "Man with the Golden Helmet."

When Ihmoud tried to cash the $2.8 million check, he was informed he was the subject of an FBI sting.

Ihmoud also reportedly admitted selling a pair of brass doors that he falsely claimed once belonged to boxer Muhammad Ali.

Prosecutors also charged he arranged for artists to study Van Gogh paintings in St. Louis to paint forgeries.

The fake Rembrandt case also resulted in the arrest of Wisconsin art dealer Marilyn Karos, who already is imprisoned for possessing stolen art, authorities said.

Drunken man gets directions -- to jail

BELLMORE, N.Y., April 6 (UPI) -- A drunken man who stopped to ask directions wound up in jail when the people he asked happened to be Nassau County, N.Y., police lieutenants, a report said.

Authorities told Newsday that Joseph Hores, 43, of Levittown, N.Y., was staggering and his speech was slurred when he got out of his car Tuesday.

The problem was Hores chose a Bellmore, N.Y., building housing the Nassau County Police Highway Patrol to ask for directions, where he encountered two lieutenants reporting for work.

The man was arrested on drunken driving charges, the report said.

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