Thoughts on quirky news and life in Buenos Aires and Washington, DC

Lebanese city dresses female traffic cops in short shorts

It’s harder and harder to find light-hearted news these days, but this Economist article drew Cheblogudo’s attention, and not just for its clever title (“The Long Legs of the Law”).

The mayor of Broumana, Pierre Achkar, has a problem. Rich tourists from the Gulf, who spend big and stay long, no longer holiday in his mountain town. The mayor wants to entice tourists from the West to plug the gap, but Lebanon’s reputation for violence and instability keeps them away, he says. His solution: to hire young women as police officers and dress them up in black hot pants.

“People in the West don’t visit Lebanon because they think it’s a country of Islamic extremism,” explains Mr Achkar. “We want to show that we have the same way of life as the West. You wear shorts and we wear shorts. We have democracy. Our women are free.” The mayor’s stunt has caused a stir and split opinion. Some are pleased, but others say it exposes the young women to sexual harassment, or worry that they will distract drivers and cause road accidents. The mayor is undaunted. “Why would we hire ugly girls?” he asks.

This has, of course, stirred controversy, but Lebanon needs all the help it can get to attract tourists.  Will they come?  Only time will tell.  But we’re talking about it, so this PR stunt seems to be working.


               This is not a new Lebanese police uniform.  Photo: Cheblogudo


Seen in DC: adult gelato

Happy 4th of July!

Rising avocado prices cause crime wave in Chile; meet the guac cops

Bloomberg reports:

Prices leaped 9 percent in Chile last month and 23 percent from the beginning of the year, the National Statistics Institute reported last week.

While thefts have always existed, it has gone from people breaking into fields at night to organized armed groups assaulting producers in broad daylight, said Francisco Contardo, general manager of Chile’s avocado producers’ association. During the harvest season, from August to February this year, 10 bands were dismantled and 50 people were charged with theft.

Now Chile has copied the avocado police of Mexico and California’s “guac cops,” so-called because of guacamole, appointing its first avocado-focused prosecutor to address rising theft.

With a dedicated guac prosecutor, avocado gangs are toast!


Chilean libertador Bernardo O’Higgins: give me avocados or give me death (or something)!

Bulgarian cow who crossed EU border without papers spared from execution

Reuters reports:

Bulgaria agreed on Monday to spare the life of Penka the cow after plans to kill her for crossing European Union borders without paperwork triggered an international outcry.

Penka wandered away from her herd near the Bulgarian village of Mazarachevo last month and walked out of the bloc into neighboring Serbia.

When she was returned two weeks later, authorities said she would have to be put down as she had violated guidelines under which animals entering the European Union have to have papers verifying their health.

Penka’s plight prompted protests on social media, particularly in Britain where eurosceptic campaigners and publications held her up as a victim of Brussels bureaucracy.

Animal rights campaigners, including former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney, signed petitions asking Bulgaria to save the five-year-old animal.

The international campaign worked.  Penka will live to see another day.  Before becoming a delicious EU steak, that is.


                         What color was this cow’s passport?  Photo: Cheblogudo

No sex on roundabouts, please, we are Norwegian!

From Reuters:

Norway’s high school graduates should refrain from running naked across bridges and having sex on roundabouts lest they give drivers “too much of a surprise”, the national transport regulator said on Wednesday.


In a statement titled “No to sex on roundabouts”, Terje Moe Gustavsen, a former minister of transport who now runs the Public Roads Administration, said: “Everyone understands that being in and around roundabouts is a traffic hazard,” .

“It may not be so dangerous for someone to be without clothes on the bridge, but drivers can get too much of a surprise and completely forget that they are driving,” he added.

Words to live by.


Yield to other vehicles, not to temptation, at the roundabout.  Photo: Cheblogudo

Seen in DC: prone to misinterpretation