Imelda's Shoeseum 7.1

A decade and a half after she fled the Philippines in disgrace when her dictator


husband was overthrown in a popular uprising, Imelda Marcos is trying to use her continuing notoriety to promote a righteous cause: the health and well-being of the shoe industry. The former first lady of the Philippines returned to the headlines recently after opening a shrine of sorts to famous footwear, much of it her own.

The Marikina City Footwear Museum features hundreds of shoes from Imelda herself, some of them shoes she left behind when she had to leave the country in such a hurry back in 1986. Museum officials hope the project will help to bring tourist money to Marikina--and to help support the local shoe industry, just as Imelda herself had done by buying shoes so extravagantly before her fall from grace. "This museum [is] making a subject of notoriety into an object of beauty," Imelda told The Associated Press. "Filipinos don't wallow in what is miserable and ugly. They recycle the bad into things of beauty."


Black and White Case 8.2

The police officers didn't mace, beat and arrest a retired youth worker because he was black. They arrested him because they thought he was a white man with a similar name. That, anyway, is the explanation police are giving in the wake of an incident in which James E. Parker--a black man in his fifties--was wrongfully arrested by Attleboro, Massachusetts cops looking for one James M. Parker--a white man who happens to be 20 years younger than his near-namesake.

According to the Boston Globe, the arresting officers (who reportedly had a sketch of the younger, more lightly pigmented Parker at hand) "soon realized the mistake," but nevertheless "charged the 55-year-old Parker with assaulting a police officer and disturbing the peace. Parker spent time in jail and a judge placed him on probation before prosecutors formally dismissed the charges six months later."

The chief of the Attleboro police department says he's sorry about the incident, though he denies that racism or racial profiling had anything to do with it. "This was truly an accident and I apologize to Mr. Parker for the inconvenience," Chief Ronald D. Sabourin told the Globe.


Tooth and Consequences 4.4

Misguided policies of "zero tolerance" toward drugs and guns on school property have led school officials across the United States to mete out draconian punishments to students accused of such horrendous infractions as sharing aspirins or pointing fingers at other students and saying "bang." But if one Canadian parent is to be believed, school officials at the Northland School in Grouard, Alberta have done their American rivals one better--adopting a "zero tolerance" policy toward bad breath.

Colleen Auger says the principal of her daughter's school demanded she remove the 7-year-old from school because her breath was so bad--and because he feared her halitosis, apparently caused by several uncapped cavities, might be contagious. "I told them it's just a rotten tooth," Auger told the Calgary Sun. "The principal told me, 'It's best you take her home because the other kids could catch it.' "

For its part, the school denies suspending the foul-mouthed little girl, and says it is investigating the mother's complaint. Dental work is scheduled.


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