Saturday, February 28, 2009
The buffer zone splits the island from east to west after Cyprus was divided in a Turkish invasion in 1974 triggered by a Greek-inspired coup. At the time, no one considered asparagus a politically charged issue. Today, it is.
Nicos Kotziambashis, leader of the Greek Cypriot village of Mammari which has been particularly hit hard by the U.N. bad, was livid.
"This is unacceptable behavior and I have demanded that action is taken. The situation is explosive. My people are starving for asparagus."
A U.N. spokesman responded, "It is not something we particularly like to do, but, unfortunately, if the asparagus is found in the buffer zone the peacekeepers have to do their job, which is to regulate access to that part of the territory. This is what U.N. peacekeeping is all about.You can't just let farmers grab up asparagus in a buffer zone!"
Plentiful rains ensured a bumper crop of "aggrelia" this year exacerbating the standoff between soldiers and the army of locals who flock to pick asparagus, which tied in green and red burgundy bunches, sells for up to four euros at local markets - which is a lot of green.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
A review of the school assignment revealed teachers had suggested as "unusual," places such as the Cliffs of Dover, next to a guard at the Buckingham Palace, atop the Globe Theater during a production of Shakespeare's "As You Like It," and hidden within Bushy park.
Bishop Jonathan Blake, of the Open Episcopal Church, took pictures of his sons Nathan, eight, and Dominic, seven, while they sat on top of their two-story home. Pictures Bishop Blake took show the children fearfully reading "The Killer Underpants."
After a neighbor alerted the police, the clergyman said he was arrested, driven away in a cage in the back of a van and kept overnight in a cell. The children remained on the chimney as there was no one there to retrieve them.
"I was taken out in handcuffs in front of the whole neighborhood while my children were in tears," the 52-year-old said. "I am appalled and incredulous. I would never have imagined in a thousand years that a father would be found guilty of such an offense for merely placing his children on top of his chimney to read "The Killer Underpants."
The children were wearing safety harnesses and were known to be strong fallers, he added. "Last year they fell the top of the stairs and suffered only minor injuries and attended school the next day."
Blake said he would make an official complaint and has already contacted London police chief Paul Stephenson and Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who asked Blake if he had yet taken his children off the chimney.
Blake had no comment.