Cyclists ride in the buff for London oil protest

Sunday, June 12, 2005

LONDON -- Hundreds of naked cyclists rode past Big Ben and the U.S. Embassy in London on Saturday to protest the West's dependence on gas-guzzling cars -- and to push for more use of bicycles. The organizers of World Naked Bike Ride 2005 said protests were expected in Australia, Canada, the United States, Ireland, Italy, Latvia and Israel. In London, about 100 cyclists took part. Most of the riders stripped naked for the six-mile ride. In the Spanish capital, Madrid, dozens of nude cyclists pedaled along major thoroughfares past famous landmarks, drawing surprised looks.

Survey shows bridge fans are a devoted lot

LOS ANGELES -- Poker is the hot card game of the moment, but its fans have nothing on bridge players when it comes to devotion. In a survey of bridge buffs, nearly half said if they were stranded on a desert island they'd rather have three fellow players than an expert who could help in their predicament. According to the American Contract Bridge League, 42 percent of those polled would want three bridge players with them, compared with 19 percent who'd prefer Tom Hanks for the survival skills he exhibited in the film "Castaway." The late oceanographer Jacques Cousteau was chosen by 15 percent in the survey, conducted by Equation Research. About 25 million Americans play bridge now, the 160,000-member league said. Participation in online league-sanctioned games has risen by more than 5,000 a month in the past year, up to 17,500.

-- From wire reports

Watch group members pose as prostitutes

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. -- Members of a watch group are taking the fight against prostitution and drugs right to the source -- the streets of their neighborhood. North Gratiot Neighborhood Watch members spent two days last month posing as streetwalkers and vagrants in an area north of the Mount Clemens downtown section known for its street crime. When potential customers pulled over, the activists handed out a flier that said, "If you're soliciting sex and/or drugs in this neighborhood, you are being videotaped. Stay tuned for the 11 (o'clock) news. Zero tolerance." Watch group organizer Deborah Roberts said the homeowners are using the new technique because they are tired of motorists driving around the block asking law-abiding men and women for crack cocaine or sex for money. Although they acknowledge posing as a hooker late at night is extremely risky, some of the group members are carrying mace or other weapons to be used in self defense. Their videotapes are being turned over to law enforcers. "We can't even walk in our own neighborhood without being solicited by some creep driving by," Roberts said. "We simply aren't getting adequate protection."

Barking dog helps save boy from pond

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- A barking family dog helped parents save the life of a 2-year-old boy who fell into a pond at a golf course near their home.

Young Sammy Lobey disappeared from the front yard of his parents' home on Tuesday night. The parents began a frantic search, and when Ronald Lobey called for his 2-year-old black Lab, Maddie, the dog barked from behind a neighbor's house across the street.

"I yelled for my dog and she barked" but refused to leave the pond, where Ronald Lobey found his son, submerged and unconscious.

The father began performing CPR and got the boy breathing.

By the time medics arrived, Sammy was awake and crying. The boy was taken to Southwest Washington Medical Center, later transferred to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Ore., and came home Wednesday night.

Lobey said doctors told them the boy was not deprived of oxygen long enough to suffer any long-term damage.

"If Maddie has not barked, we probably would not have found that baby in time to save his life," Lobey said. "Everything came out good."

-- From wire reports

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