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Since 1st March, 1999
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Cool cartoon

San Francisco, May 26 (AP): Matt Groening, creator of America’s favourite animated family, The Simpsons, was named outstanding cartoonist of the year at the 2003 Reuben awards.

Darby Conley won best newspaper comic for his strip, Get Fuzzy, which details the adventures of Rob Wilco, a single ad executive, and his temperamental cat Buckeye and gentle dog Satchel.

The 57th annual award ceremony was held on Saturday at the Palace hotel in San Francisco. It featured presenters and past Reuben winners such as Dilbert creator Scott Adams, Doonesbury creator Gary Trudeau, and Cathy Guisewite, creator of Cathy.

The National Cartoonists Society was founded in 1946 and is headquartered in New York city. Today it includes more than 600 members.

Thai trauma

Bangkok (Reuters) : Thai human rights activists today lambasted a beauty contest for girls as young as three, charging organisers with exploiting children and reinforcing Thailand’s negative image as a popular destination for sex tourists. Organisers of the Miss and Mister International Kids Contest, which feature boys and girls between 3-12 wearing “national dress” and swimsuits — said the event was meant to boost children’s confidence when appearing in public. But rights advocate Montri Sintawichai said parents should think twice before registering their children for the contest, which he said eroded the innocence of children. “I will never send my kids to this kind of beauty pageant,” said Montri. “Swimsuits are associated with sex.” Wallop Tangkananuruk, chairman of the Thai senate’s children and women affairs committee, said swimwear should only be worn at the swimming pool. “This event will emphasise Thailand’s image as a sex land full of child prostitutes,” he said.

Free flight

Port Moresby (Reuters): More than 40 youths in Papua New Guinea’s highlands stormed the Prime Minister’s aircraft expecting a free flight to the capital Port Moresby, but got a beating from police wielding fan belts instead. The security breach occurred after two politicians entered the parked aircraft to use its toilet, sparking a stampede by youths who clambered over security and air crew believing the plane was about to take off, newspapers said on Monday. Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare and a group of ministers had just arrived at Kundiawa airport in Chimbu province with the body of the area’s late governor for a traditional burial.

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