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The News You May Have Missed

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Desperate for Stamina

A South Korean TV documentary team has accused Chinese pharmaceutical companies of selling “dead baby” pills as stamina boosters, reports the International Business Times (Aug. 5). Chinese hospitals and abortion clinics have allegedly been supplying the companies with human remains after a still birth or abortion. The remains are put in medical drying microwaves, then ground and packed into capsules, ready to be sold. DNA tests reportedly showed that the pills were 99.7 percent human. A business network exists between China and South Korea to fulfill demand in the South Korean market. Besides the dead-baby pills, microwave-dried placenta is another popular business venture in China in which hospital staff are allegedly openly involved.

Sterile Raffle

Some Indian citizens are accepting offers for free sterilizations in exchange for raffle tickets. With each procedure, the participant is entered in a forthcoming drawing in which they can win prizes like a Tata Nano car, motorbikes, and electric food blenders (The Independent, Aug. 16). Authorities in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan have long operated a program of “camps” where men and women are made aware of “family planning” and told that free procedures are available. This year, officials hit upon the idea of “incentivizing” people to come forward during the slow summer months. Officials say they are doing nothing wrong; the prizes have all been donated by a local university.

The Killer Joke

This August, late-night TV personality David Letterman made a joke about the deceased successor to Osama bin Laden, which he concluded by making a slashing gesture across his throat. In response, a commentator on an Islamic web forum urged Muslims to “cut the tongue of the lowly Jew and shut it forever,” reports Catholic Online (Aug. 18). (Letterman, for the record, is a Protestant Christian.) “He showed his evil nature and deep hatred for Islam and Muslims,” said another commentator on the site. “We ask Allah to paralyze his tongue and grant the sincere monotheists his neck.” The FBI is reportedly investigating the threat. Letterman is no stranger to danger: He was once the target of a $2 million extortion attempt by a CBS News producer; and in 2005, a former painter at his ranch was jailed for plotting to kidnap Letterman’s son and his nanny.

The Lazy Convert

According to The Scottish Sun (Aug. 23), the convicted murderer of an 82-year-old grandmother has converted to Islam behind bars so he can avoid work. David Millar will skip his duties on Fridays so he can attend prayers, and will receive special halal meals. One jail source said, “He works in the laundry but wants to use his newfound faith to get out of it. He’s told a few of his cronies he won’t have to work for the whole of Ramadan, which is basically like getting a month off. It’s so see-through.” Jail sources claim Millar, who was just 14 when he committed the murder, showed no previous interest in Islam before his conversion. “It came out of the blue,” one guard said. “But we’re duty-bound to help once a prisoner decides to become Muslim.”

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