Covering stories from around the world, this edition of World Stories You May Have Missed takes in 3 continents and 4 countries to pick up some of the lesser known, often more unusual, news pieces of the last month.
Tomato proves an insult too far…
Papua New Guinea’s electoral commissioner, Patilias Gamato, was none too happy with blogger-journalist Martyn Namorong’s persistent nicknaming of him as ‘Mr. Tomato’. Indeed, he decided to take decisive action and successfully obtained a court order banning Mr. Namorong from ever using the insult against him in future.
Mr. Namarong was one of many to express criticism of the national elections underway in Papua New Guinea at present, which have seen security irregularities, allegations of sorcery, and the arrest of three senior election officials in Port Moresby.
However, the electoral commissioner was less than happy for his surname to be renamed after the fruit: “I don’t look like a tomato, I’m a human being.” Mr. Gamato appears to have taken particular exception to an edited image circulating social media of his head enveloped by a tomato: “He put a big tomato on my head, what if he did that to you?” .
Mr. Namarong has responded in protest to the court ruling by posting a picture on Twitter of himself blindfolded and gagged, while others have taken to leaking the original defamation claim online.
“He is not a vegetable.”
— TI PNG 🇵🇬 (@TI_PNG) July 18, 2017
Uganda has a new civil service dress code and it’s not particularly liberating for women…
The Ugandan government has enforced a new dress code for its civil servants, including banning female civil servants from bearing cleavage.
In a circular sent to the Ministry of Public Service, the government justified the move as acting against high rates of indecent dressing in public offices. Female public servants are now banned from showing any cleavage, wearing dresses or skirts which finish above their knees and are not allowed to wear flat, open shoes unless they can provide medical reasons for doing so. Women’s pantsuits are permitted, but women must not wear tight-fitting clothes. Meanwhile, male public servants are prohibited from wearing tight trousers, bright colours or having long hair.
Love is in the air in Cuba as ‘Posadas’ are set to make a return…
Concerned by lovers making out in parks, beaches and on the streets, the communist government of Cuba has announced the planned return of ‘love motels’, or posadas, to the island.
The reopening of posadas will allow the young lovers of Cuba to once more rent state-run hotel rooms by the hour to ‘spend time together’. The move has been instigated both in acknowledgement of the overcrowding in the capital, Havana, rendering intimate moments less possible, and concerns at the exorbitant prices of the private love nest market. According to the BBC, the average cost for three hours in a private room is c.$5, but this prices many people out with it corresponding to almost a sixth of the average Cuban’s monthly pay.
The union weekly, Trabajadores, welcomed the return of posadas, commenting that: “To think about how to diversify options for love is not far-fetched… It is a reality that concerns everyone, and cannot become a luxury.”
A Toronto man has been reprimanded after saving the city’s administrative authorities approximately £40,000.
Canadian pensioner, Adi Astl, called in neighbours’ help to build over the course of a day a stairway over a steep, muddy slope in a park in Toronto with materials costing $550. This citizen’s impressive act of initiative was prompted by his local councillor informing him that city staff estimates for a stairway were between C$65,ooo and C$150,000.
While welcomed by local residents, the city staff did not appreciate Mr. Astl’s resourcefulness, blocking off the stairway and writing a letter asking him to take it down. Toronto Mayor, John Tory, agreed the original price estimate was grossly inflated, but defended the city bureaucracy’s response to Astl’s stairway, saying that private citizens should not “go out to Home Depot and build a staircase in a park because that is what they would like to have“.