In Saudi Arabia, a man sentenced to death has been given a stay of execution. His crime? Sorcery. It seems that the guy is a TV host in Lebanon who was on a pilgrimage to Medina. He was arrested by the Saudi (!) Religious Police for the crime of making predictions. After a secret trial where the man was given no legal representation, he was sentenced to be beheaded, the preferred method of barbarity in Saudi Arabia. Although he is not a Saudi citizen and his “crime” was not committed in Saudi Arabia, religious police recognized the man since they had watched his show, and arrested the guy in his hotel room.

Made up largely of criminals who had their sentences commuted because they memorized the Koran, these guys are more feared than the Gestapo and KGB ever were, since they can arrest people who have broken no law. If you annoy them, you’re toast. They are called the Muttaween, or Mutts for short. Much like Spanish Inquisitors of old, the Mutts can arrest anyone they feel like for any reason they can invent, except of course, the king and any other member of the royal family, most of whom are more decadent that Andy Dick and Bombshell McGee rolled into one.

Who says the Inquisition is over? It just switched faiths from Roman Catholicism to Islam. The Mutts are busy fellows, what with young girls trying to exit their burning school with their heads uncovered and needing to be driven back into the flames, homosexuals to be arrested and tortured, women to be beaten senseless with whips for failing to cover their ankles, tongues to be cut out, people to be burned at the stake or crucified (or both) and other unpleasant but necessary jobs. No word from the king as to why he is going soft on witchcraft all of a sudden. Maybe his teenage transvestite boyfriend likes the Lebanese guy’s TV show. He’s not saying, and being king, doesn’t have to answer to anyone, not even the Mutts. Like Mel Brook’s says, it’s good to be king.

Speaking of oppressive regimes who don’t give a rat’s ass about anybody, including their own citizens, the nations surrounding China are blaming the Chinese government for their water shortage. The Chinese have been building so many dams that once-mighty rivers like the Mekong have turned into muddy little streams polluted with the 19th century style industrial waste. Of course the Chinese are calling the situation a natural occurrence, a drought. While there is a drought and a lack of the usual heavy rainfall in the region, that has happened before, but the river continued to flow. These days, the 3,000 mile-long river has been stopped up by 4 dams, effectively starving farmers, fishermen and their families in Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam, as well as the Chinese province of Yunan that borders those nations. The Chinese government, however, has more pressing concerns, like how to more effectively censor the Internet and falsely inflate the value of their currency.

In the Netherlands, Greenpeace activists have chained themselves to the mooring ropes of a ship scheduled to sail to Japan with a cargo of whale meat. While they realize this doesn’t help the whale that’s already cut into steaks, they’re hoping to be able to water ski across the Pacific carrying banners that say “Whale does not taste like chicken!”

In Canada today, as usual, there was nothing to report.

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