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Since 1st March, 1999
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Brothel bother

Athens, July 24 (AFP): About 50 Greek prostitutes staged a sit-in at the interior ministry today to call for laws regulating brothels to be relaxed.

“It’s an inhuman law and very strict,” said spokeswoman Eliza Kolovou. Prostitution is legal in Greece, but since 1999 is limited to brothels where a maximum of three people can be employed and which are not close to schools or churches. “They’ll have to close all the brothels because there’s always a church or school,” Kolovou added.

Athens city council, which began surveying brothels yesterday, said none of the 15 brothels officials had visited complied with the laws. Owners were given a fortnight to comply.

Love bug

London (Reuters): As life goes, it doesn’t get much better than for male Zeus bugs. The tiny water bugs that are common along Australia’s east coast have an easy life. Their female partners provide free food, transport and unlimited sex whenever they want it. “All the advantages in this relationship seem to fall to the male with no obvious advantage for the female, yet the female Zeus bug seems a willing partner in this one-sided affair,” Mark Elgar, of the University of Melbourne in Australia, said on Wednesday. The male Zeus bug is half the size of the female and hitches a piggy back ride on the female which also feeds him. “The male can ride the female, feeding and mating for up to a week,” said Elgar, who reported his findings in the science journal Nature. Why the female puts up with feeding and carrying the male around is a mystery

Hot grapes

Lyon (France), (Reuters): If many farmers are fed up with Europe’s heatwave drying up their crops, producers of French Beaujolais wine see the long hours of sunshine creating the most flavourful vintage in decades. While freezing temperatures in April may have killed off a fifth of this year’s fruity red Beaujolais crop, scorching weather since should ensure remaining grapes are bursting with flavour, wine producers say. Growers hope that rapid ripening could mean a flavour comparable with the exceptional 1976 vintage, and expect to bring forward the harvest to August 25 — the earliest since 1893, according to the UIVB Beaujolais producers’ association. “To get a really good wine, the vine must suffer. It needs to be stressed, with a minimum of water and lots of sun, to produce good grapes,” Michel Deflache, deputy director of UIVB said. “This is going to be one of the four earliest harvests in 500 years. And if the weather carries on like this, and there’s a 90 percent chance that it will,” he said.

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