Flat Earth

What a liberty

Unhappy in jail? No problem. Get a friend to fax the prison and ask for your release, and that will be the end of the matter.

That was the experience of Richard Foster, who found himself in Richland County Jail in South Carolina. A fax arrived at the jail on what appeared to be an official letterhead. "There are no holds on this subject in this jurisdiction," the fax declared. "Augusta-Richmond County Sheriff's Office has no criminal interest in Mr Foster and is not lodging any detainers against him at this time." Result: the jailers let Mr Foster go.

Then, shortly after Foster walked out of the jail gates, prison officials noticed that the identifying line on the fax included the name of a local grocery store. The message had been sent from a public fax machine.

And yes, Georgia authorities were looking for Foster, in connection with a shooting. According to police, Foster told a friend to shoot a woman in an Augusta nightclub. The woman's alleged offence: she had refused Foster's demand for a dance.

Nudie weds

Not that they are publicity-seekers or anything. Nothing like that. None the less, 38-year-old Hsu Hsiao-dan and her husband-to-be have come up with an unusual idea for their wedding. The couple plan to get married nude, in the port of Kaohsiung in Taiwan. Tickets for the wedding will be sold, and the money donated to charity. Ms Hsu, a stripper turned politician, had previously promised in an election campaign to strip naked when confronting dishonest politicians. It is unclear whether wedding guests are to draw any conclusions about Ms Hsu's fiance, businessman Wu Jong-chang.

Acutely grave

The French daily Le Monde is famous for remaining tres serieux at all times. But times may be changing, even in that rarefied climate. It is traditional for French newspapers to offer their readers a serialised novel during July and August. Le Monde has gone one better, offering its readers a serialised adult western cartoon, full of lines like: "Damn it! ou etes-vous, bande de chiens!" Occupying a full page every day, the story chronicles the blood-splattered career of Lieutenant Blueberry of the US cavalry. Words like tchac!, paw paw!, bawm! and yaooo! abound. Some observers wonder if this is only the start. Coming soon: Page Three lovelies ("Les Mondaines") and Bingo du Monde?

Slobbered on

Earlier this year, huge crowds of demonstrators filled the streets of Belgrade, banging pots and pans to "drown out the lies" of the television evening news.

Six months on, the demonstrations have ended. The Serbian leader, Slobodan Milo- sevic, is still in power, and is now president of rump Yugoslavia. The Serbs, meanwhile, once more sit in front of the television, night after night. Not necessarily to watch the evening news, but something far more important. Nobody can afford to miss Cassandra - a Venezuelan soap opera full of gypsies, love and circuses.

Cassandra has caused nationwide gush which has put mere politics into the shade. Pro-government television is reported to have paid $50,000 for the star of the series to come to Yugoslavia this summer. If Mr Milosevic is lucky, her tour might even improve the national mood enough to allow his party to stay in power.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
News
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
news
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: Bookkeeper

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...

Recruitment Genius: Photographic Event Crew

£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developers - .NET / ASP.NET / WebAPI / JavaScript

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Solicitor - City

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower