lacking good taste
eatery pulls billboards with cult references
A northern Indiana restaurant that erected billboards referring to the 1978 Jones-town cult massacre in which more than 900 people died has removed the signs following complaints they were offensive. Jeff Leslie, vice president of sales and marketing at Hacienda, acknowledged that the billboards were a mistake. He said the South Bend-based company ordered the signs removed less than two weeks into Hacienda's new advertising campaign. The billboards included the statement, "We're like a cult with better Kool-Aid," over a glass containing a mixed drink, as well as the phrase "To die for!" In November 1978, members of Jim Jones' People's Temple drank cyanide-laced, grape-flavored punch in a mass murder and suicide in the group's compound in Guyana.
in name only
Hosni Mubarak gets off with a fine
A judge slapped Hosni Mubarak with a fine for illegally consuming alcohol. No, not that Hosni Mubarak. This one is a Pakistani namesake of the ousted Egyptian president who was in a Dubai misdemeanors court on charges of breaking United Arab Emirates liquor laws, which ban public drinking outside of hotels and restaurants. Media reports Monday said he was fined $273 by the judge, who couldn't hold back a smile as he called the defendant's name.
take it outside
Catch a smoker at home, call a cop
The last refuge is vanishing for besieged smokers — at least in Honduras. A new law says family members can call the police on people who smoke at home. The law bans all smoking in most closed public or private spaces and orders smokers to stand at least 6 feet away from nonsmokers in any open space. Some analysts say the law will be almost impossible to enforce in the Central American nation, which is also a significant producer of cigars.
A taste of military life for tourists
Vacationers are getting fired up about a former military base in Romania where tanks have been turned into bedrooms. Tourists can choose not only from the tank bedrooms but also more regular bedrooms — fitted with decommissioned cannons shooting out of the window. The operators of the old base, at Orastie, invested $27.6 million turning the spot into a luxury resort to give visitors a taste of military life. Other rooms have been made inside secret underground tunnels, and visitors can participate in marches, training drills, tank driving and shooting practice over 197 acres. Prices start at $65 per night with full services or $195 for six nights, breakfast and dinner included.
Compiled from Times wires and other news sources