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Steamy Starbucks

Los Angeles, Feb. 28 (Reuters): Lattes aren’t the only steamy things at Starbucks these days.

Much to the chagrin of Seattle-based Starbucks Corp, Playboy magazine has issued an alert: “Calling all coffee-making cuties!” to pose nude for an upcoming issue featuring the “Women of Starbucks.” With the application process already percolating, the chain of more than 6,200 coffee shops worldwide, is anything but thrilled with the cattle call by the adult magazine to its coffee-making employees, known as baristas.

The company has offered a frosty statement: “Starbucks Coffee Company is aware that Playboy Enterprises has issued a call for entries for a ‘Women of Starbucks’ section in a future magazine. Starbucks is not affiliated with this project and does not endorse it. All further inquiries should be directed to the contact at Playboy, Theresa Hennessey.”

Hennessey, at Playboy Enterprises Inc’s Chicago headquarters, said the magazine was already getting a lot of submissions for the issue.

“Starbucks is such a big part of American pop culture, and Playboy is always trying to stay on top of the latest trend, so it seemed like a natural fit, especially with all the beautiful women there,” she said.

recent years, Playboy has scored big with other corporate-themed pictorials such as “The Women of Enron” as well as 7-Eleven.

Rope ruckus

Bucharest (Reuters): A Romanian man plans to complain to consumer authorities about the poor quality of a rope he used in a failed attempt to hang himself, Romanian papers reported. “You can’t even die in this country,” 45-year-old Victor Dodoi was quoted as saying in the daily Adevarul. The newspaper said Dodoi’s relatives found him hanging from a tree in his garden and managed to cut the rope with a knife. He was taken by horse-drawn cart and then by ambulance to a hospital in the northern town of Botosani. Dodoi said he would file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Authority about the quality of the rope, which was easily cut, as soon as he is released.

Daring dig

Moscow (Reuters): A prisoner who escaped by digging the longest tunnel in Russian jailbreak history has been returned to his Siberian penal colony to serve a longer sentence, a news agency reported. In a feat redolent of Hollywood’s The Great Escape, Yevgeny Pechenkin and two cellmates dug a 113-metre tunnel two years ago, adding beams, electricity and a ventilation system. Earth from the four-month operation was packed into small plastic bags and spread around the colony’s courtyards.

Driver doze

Tokyo (Reuters): A Japanese bullet-train driver has brought new meaning to the phrase “a quick nap”. The 33-year-old, whose name has not been released, is being questioned by police after falling asleep for about eight minutes at the controls of one of the country’s high-speed bullet trains. West Japan Railways said the train may have been travelling at up to 270 km per hour while the driver was slumbering. No one was hurt because an automatic control system kicked in, bringing the train to a halt at the next station, Okayama, 547 km west of Tokyo.


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