Sidelights

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of America now requires its local affiliates to enlist homosexuals as volunteers and mentors. Parents with children enrolled in school-based BBBSA programs will not be informed if their child is matched with a homosexual. * A math test given to students at Juniper Middle School in Manitoba featured the question, "Rufus is a pimp for three girls. If the price is $65 per trick, how many tricks per day must each girl turn to support Rufus' $800 per day crack habit?"

* Iran raised the age at which a girl can get married without her parents' consent to 13. The previous age of consent was nine. * The Iraqi News Agency quotes Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan as saying, "The Muslim American people are praying to the almighty God to grant victory to Iraq" in the event of war with the U.S.

Libertine Village Voice sex columnist (and Al Gore supporter) Dan Savage wrote that the "recently unveiled Bush Doctrine is a necessary evil. Ask yourself this question and answer it honestly: If it was within your power in August of last year to order a preemptive strike that would've prevented the attacks of September 11, would you have done it? Of course you would. That's the Bush Doctrine." * Mona Baker, of Britain's University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology, dismissed two Israeli scholars from the academic journals she edits, because of their nationality. "I deplore the Israeli state," she told the Telegraph. "Israel has gone beyond just war crimes. It is horrific what is going on there." ... Los Angeles economist Glenn Yago has formed Pups for Peace, an organization that will buy and train bomb-sniffing dogs for Israel to use in preventing terrorism. * Italy will assist America in developing a missile defense system, making it the first European country to cooperate on the project.

There are 9,000 witches in Australia, according to the 2001 census, an increase of 350 percent in five years. Witchcraft is now the fastest-growing "religion" in the country. * Thirty-one Ugandan prisoners escaped custody when their guards left to chase a rabbit. …