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In September MCA/Universal studios signed Gregory Scott to an exclusive five-year deal to appear in and direct music videos for children, beginning with one starring children's entertainer Gregg Russell. Scott, who has recently appeared on Entertainment Tonight and The Arsenio Hall Show, is five years old.

The Continuing Crisis

During tennis's Italian Open in May, Mark Koevermans, at double match point in a bid to upset Alberto Mancini, had his last point taken away with a replay ordered by the umpire because Mancini had been distracted by a fan throwing a half-eaten ham sandwich onto the court. Mancini then rallied to win. In June in San Marcos, Texas, a man reported he had been injured walking along a road when a passing motorist hit him in the back with a bologna sandwich.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced in June that nearly one million Americans reported to emergency rooms in 1990 because of stair-related injuries and that 33,000 people were injured in accidents involving shopping carts.

Police in New York City conducted a sting operation in June to crush a "gambling ring" of mostly elderly Russian American chess players who were taking on all comers at $5 a game.

Police in Kewanee, Illinois, charged Michael Runyon with drunk driving this summer after he accidentally drove a lawn mower into the path of a freight train. Runyon, who escaped injury when the train flipped the five-horsepower mower ten feet into the air, had used the vehicle for transportation ever since his driver's license was suspended for drunk driving five years ago.

The European Community ruled this summer that Italian condoms be taken off the market because they're too small. The 12 member nations recently set minimum standards of 16 centimeters (unrolled) in length and 55 millimeters in width, and Italian condoms measure 54 millimeters. Said an EC spokesman: "One millimeter either way can make all the difference. To be blunt, it is either too tight or it comes off."

In Douala, Cameroon, in July, as 500 antigovernment demonstrators carried off the supposedly dead body of martyr Abel Biyaga, some chanted to nearby soldiers, "You shot him--shoot us, too." When the soldiers obliged, firing into the air, Biyaga jumped from the funeral cart and ran away, leading the demonstrators in retreat. Biyaga was later arrested for faking his death.

In July officials in Taiwan answered the question of whether a woman who has a sex change operation is then obligated to enter the males-only military draft: yes.

In March Judge Randy Nichols of Knox County, Tennessee, sentenced Gynndolyn Renne Welch, 23, to pay $10,000 in restitution for credit card fraud and then turned down her request to raise the money by becoming a surrogate mother.

The city of Shanghai announced in March that it would begin regulating the city's toilet concessions. Most residents do not have indoor plumbing and often use public toilets installed by entrepreneurs who charge about four cents admission. The city now will disallow any charges for men urinating and cap other services at about two cents per visit.

Fire fighters in Howard County, Maryland, were assembled at the county building in April for a ceremony in which they were to be thanked by Milton F. Quasney, 63, for having saved his life in March after he had a heart attack. Five minutes before the ceremony began, he had another heart attack, and they saved his life again.

Ernest Ray "Ernie" Lynn, son of singer Loretta Lynn, announced in June that the reason he was having a vasectomy was to stop the seemingly continuous string of paternity suits ("two or three" every year) being filed against him.

Brazil's Eros and Company escort agency caused a furor in May by publishing an ad in the newspaper Estado de Minas announcing the availability, for purchase, of an 18-year-old virgin woman who was going through "financial difficulties." The agency received so many inquiries it decided to hold an auction, but a police investigation pressured the woman to confess that she was not a virgin.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): illustration/Shawn Belschwender.

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