Merry: 21st century objective journalism blurs the line between being an entreprising businessman and a hardened criminal, in this report on the hard times ahead for Somali pirates, as a combination of bad weather and capitalist outrage at being looted puts a crimp in this 35-year old's "merry life":
[Mohamed Said] worries that the foreign navies might make the pirates' business impossible.
"If dozens of warships remain in our waters, our work will be as futile as a chameleon trying to catch a fly," he said.
Lighting an imported Benson & Hedges cigarette and unwrapping a roll of leafy khat, a mild narcotic popular in the Horn of Africa, he says he is holding out for his share in a $1.7 million ransom being demanded for a hijacked German ship.
At small cafes on Eyl's dusty, unpaved streets, pirates are also swapping gossip about negotiations in progress for the release of a Dutch ship. The buccaneers want $2.5 million, but the owners have only offered $1.5 million so far.
"If they give me some cash I will clear my debts. You know khat is expensive here," he said, chewing on a twig from the bunch wrapped in banana leaves, then puffing on his cigarette.
"I wish this merry life would last forever. But I'm afraid that circumstances may force me to give up piracy completely."
Candid: A Croatian mayoral candidate is admired for his refreshing honesty as he runs a campaign openly promising to be corrupt while in office:
Voters have flocked to the campaign, which runs under the slogan "All for me, nothing for you". Josko Risa polled 27.89 per cent of the vote in the first round of voting on Sunday, placing him second. Croatian newspaper Slobodna Dalmacija reports that he will now face Mate Lasic, the current incumbent from the Croatian Democratic Union, in a run-off on May 31.
"Whoever is in power, we know that they steal. At least he is honest," commented Ivan Vjisnic, a Prolozac resident. "He has said that if things get better for him then they will get better for us."
Fun: Teacher who had sex with her 12-year old student now hosting "Hot for Teacher" night at a Seattle bar. Former student, now her husband, acts as DJ; all in the name of fun on a Saturday night:
Fuel's owner, Mike Morris, said he realizes having Letourneau host a "Hot Teacher" night could be touchy and might rub some people the wrong way. But the way he figures it, "Mary's done her time. She's served her sentence. They're now married; they have kids together.""It's turned into sort of a love story," he says. "I realize it had a sick twist at the beginning, but they're both adults now. They're both married by the state of Washington. So, it's just go and have fun on a Saturday night - and if people are looking to have some fun, just come check us out."..."It was sort of a joke but sort of real, and it was just something that we thought was a good name for it, and of course we got Mary's permission to do it," he says. "She's really trying to kick-start his career."...The couple first met when Fualaau was in the second grade. Their relationship became sexual when he was 12 and she was a 34-year-old married mother of four, a teacher at a suburban elementary school.