FLAT EARTH

Tart of the union

Germany is in the forefront in advancing workers' rights in Europe. We have the Germans to thank for the Social Chapter, for instance, which forbids employers to exploit their staff for more than 48 hours a week.

Now imagine the Germans' horror at the discovery of a hole in their own welfare net. It turns out that one profession - the oldest - has somehow been left out. But remedy is at hand. Women's Affairs minister Christine Bergmann announced last week that prostitutes may be given the full protection of the law, starting with employment contracts with their bosses.

Presumably they would then enjoy the same benefits as other Germans: six weeks' holiday, fully paid maternity leave, a pension, and protection from being fired on the grounds of health, pregnancy or age. What's more, they would be able to sue employers and clients for sexual harassment.

Under his nose

It turns out that the American colonel in command of anti-narcotics surveillance in Colombia missed something right under his nose: his wife, Laurie Ann Hiett, has sent half a dozen parcels of cocaine to New York through the diplomatic pouch, each worth $30,000 wholesale.

"I had no idea what was inside. I did it as a favour for my chauffeur," she told military investigators.

Her driver, Jorge Alfonso Ayala, who has worked 15 years for the American embassy, counters that Mrs Hiett was a habitual user and often used to send him out to score cocaine in the Colombian capital.

In June, the United States Southern Military Command cleared Colonel James Hiett of any prior knowledge of alleged criminal actions by his spouse, age 36, but five weeks ago he was transferred at his own request.

The US state department next week is sending out an emergency team to investigate the burgeoning cocaine traffic in Colombia.

Titanic ego

Leonardo DiCaprio: actor, heart-throb, and now a protected trade mark. The star of Titanic and The Beach applied earlier this year to have his moniker registered with the US Department of Commerce, according to The Smoking Gun, an internet investigative site. It reproduces the documents by which the boyish DiCaprio (TM) sought to make himself immortal, which got preliminary approval. Can DiCaprio: the fragrance be very far behind?

All robbed cons

Four robbers toting machine guns held up some local men in Tremembe, 100 miles north of Sao Paolo, Brazil, and fled with pounds 18,000 of their hard-earned savings. Sad for the victims, but so what? Well, they happened to be inmates in the town's jail.

The booty was money earned by the 416 prisoners that they were sending home for Father's Day.

"Bandits robbing convicts is just appalling," said the prison director. "There are no values left among them."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

£16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£27500 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Telemarketers / Sales - Home Based - OTE £23,500

£19500 - £23500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Experienced B2B Telemarketer wa...

Recruitment Genius: Showroom Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This global company are looking for two Showro...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor