Last days of civilisation

City pours cold water on nude shower

Los Angeles – A night-club must close its main attraction, a shower enclosure where nude dancers cavort for male customers, because the enclosure lacks wheelchair access. Los Angeles officials said the club discriminates against wheelchair-bound people because of lack of access to the shower, denying them an equal opportunity to work as nude dancers. Ron Shigeta, head of the disabled access division of the city’s department of building and safety, said the law is the law, no matter how ridiculous it might seem to some people. “They built something that the physically disabled cannot use. The law doesn’t allow you to discriminate…” he said.

Pensioner given 18,000 years to pay tax bill

Massa Carrara, Italy – Italian pensioner Aldo Trusendi got the bad news and the good news about his tax bill all in one envelope. The bad news? He owes the state some 46 trillion lire (£25 million) in back taxes and fines. The good news? He will have nearly 18,000 years to pay it. Trusendi, 63, was told the money would be deducted from his pension at 281,000 lire (£110) a month, the Italian news agency AGI reported. Trusendi was quoted as telling the agency it was all some kind of mistake that would be cleared up sooner or later.

Candid cameras challenge coin crooks

London – British telephone booths are being fitted with hidden cameras the size of a fingertip to catch thieves breaking into their cash boxes, a newspaper said. The cameras begin filming when their high-tech sensors detect any tampering with the coin box and relay pictures to a control room, The Times said. British Telecom aims to fit up to 500 of the gadgets in booths across Hampshire by the end of the year, it added. “There is no question of taking pictures or listening to people just using the phone normally,” a BT spokesman said.

World Cup fever outrages purists in Iran

Tehran – Iran is gripped by World Cup fever. Up to half the population reportedly watch the games which are broadcast live — or almost live — for the first time since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Purists concerned about revolutionary Islamic values are outraged about the coverage and about the partial lifting of a ban on women going to soccer stadiums announced this week. State television has been showing every game of the World Cup live — except for a delay of a few seconds to allow editors to cut out crowd scenes showing women fans in clothes deemed inappropriate. The gap is filled by doctored crowd shots from previous games.