Hello Cruel World
Thursday, June 02, 2005
We used to say "only in America" ... Circus Schapelle
Making Light Open thread 40, starting May 02, 2005
We all used to say "only in America" ... There was a story linked to the particle (April 14, 2005) involving a camel suit which an airport baggage-handler took out of a travellers' bag and wore out on the tarmac. (Tho' this didn't wear it out. <g>) This is the best summary, but I think you have to register/subscribe to see the full story: Too much baggage May 14, 2005 by Neil McMahon.
It was about a young woman in a group travelling from Australia to Bali in whose unlocked bulky boogie board (sports) bag a large bag of marijuana was found. This can be a capital (firing squad) offence in Indonesia. She is claiming it was -- unknown to her -- put into her bag as part of an ongoing arrangement to smuggle goods between domestic airports, and that it had missed being taken out. There is at least one report of a man who phoned the consul in Bali having found a bag of grass in his luggage on arrival at his hotel and being advised to quickly dispose of it and not report it.

The whole thing has blown up into an incredible scene, rather along the lines of The Big Carnival (aka Ace in the Hole). Maybe it could be pitched as "OJ meets Elian on the Midnight Express"? It has ramified into some serious matters involving home affairs (like the extent of corruption in airport staff, with a cocaine smuggling ring just arrested and many passengers reporting they lost valuables from their cases in transit), international incidents (e.g., interfering in overseas criminal trials,
death threats to Indonesian diplomats in Australia, groups at the court picketing in favour of the death sentence), websites, petitions, many assorted polls, T-shirts, songs being written, etc, etc, while a rich, if possibly dodgy, businessman has taken up her cause.
The Indonesian and Australian judicial systems are fairly different so there's a lot of room for confusion, and also the rules about the kind of media coverage and the legality of commenting on sub judice cases seems closer to the US free-for-all than the more restrictive Australian rules. (It just goes on ... This is the latest Schapelle Corby update).

Another kind of Dangerous Books

And for all the non-usians out there who get slightly irritated by references to obscure US personalities, here's 100 Aussie names you can throw around to confuse USians. (I've heard of nearly all of the list, tho I don't know anything about quite a few): Readers' Digest Australian Trust Survey
Meanwhile usians & other non-Ozzies can make yourselves sound familiar with Oz affairs, if you so wish. Impress your friends! Break the ice at parties!!
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 / . Lives in Australia/New South Wales/Sydney, speaks English. Eye color is hazel. I am what my mother calls unique. My interests are photography, reading, natural history/land use, town planning, sustainability.

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