Odds & Ends
By Devin D. O'Leary
OCTOBER 12, 1998:
Dateline: Australia--The official condom maker of the 2000
Olympics in Sydney, Australia, announced that it will be providing
three free "Olympic" condoms a day to each of the games'
participants. That's 51 condoms for each athlete over the course
of the 17-day event. I suspect they're going to be too tired to
Dateline: Brazil--A 10-year-old girl is at the center of
an abortion-rights controversy in Catholic-dominated Brazil. The
unnamed girl had been repeatedly raped since she was seven by
her two neighbors, ages 52 and 65, who ultimately impregnated
her in June. Now four months pregnant, the girl is seeking an
abortion. Under Brazilian law, abortion is illegal except in cases
of rape or life-endangering pregnancy. The girl's parents and
local doctors in Israelandia, a rural community 560 miles northwest
of Sao Paulo, have argued that both exceptions apply in this case.
That hasn't stopped Brazil's Catholic church from doing their
holy best to block the abortion from taking place. Last Monday,
a judge denied a court injunction which would have held up the
operation for at least 20 days. The church had hoped to "sway"
the girl's parents in the interim.
Dateline: New York--A man in suburban New York was arrested
last Tuesday on charges of possessing a stolen statue of baby
Jesus that had been converted into a marijuana pipe. The statue
was stolen two years ago from the Shrine of Our Lady of the Island
in Eastport, N.Y., but was returned anonymously in recent months.
A subsequent investigation led police in Suffolk County to arrest
18-year-old Timothy Rhatigan. Rhatigan was charged with criminal
possession of stolen property. During its absence, the stomach
and head of the statue had been hollowed out for apparent use
as a Jesus pipe.
Dateline: Wisconsin--The "Bummer of the Week"
comes to us from Wausau, Wis., where a patient was eagerly (albeit
unconsciously) awaiting a multiple organ transplant. After the
patient had been prepped and the appropriate incisions begun,
the private plane carrying the replacement heart plus a set of
lungs, crashed. Four doctors and nurses escaped serious injury,
but the organs were destroyed. The patient is back on a waiting
Dateline: California--Was it a freak accident or a murder/suicide?
I guess we'll never really know. The body of Michael Trevethan,
42, was discovered last Monday pinned between his front gate and
the front bumper of his pickup truck. Police in Orinda, a rural
community some 14 miles east of San Francisco, believe that Trevethan
got out of his truck to open the gate and was crushed to death
when his (allegedly) overexuberant dog knocked the vehicle into
gear. The dog, a Rhodesian Ridgeback, later died of dehydration
after being trapped in the cab of the truck with the heater going