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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 15 December 2006

The Gecko: 15 December 2006

The Gecko: 15 December 2006

World famous Welsh photographer, raconteur and certified pharmacist Philip Jones Griffiths has decided to spend all of December and part of January in our fair city. He is putting up at a friend's apartment along the river front, so if you see him lumbering along Sisowath Quay give him a shout and ask him to share his favorite story about adventures in Rajasthan.

** Hurley Scroggins' Cantina empire is expanding. His new place on Otres Beach in Sihanoukville is opening just in time to spice up Christmas bellies that will rumble like a bowl full of jello-pinos.

** According to Unicef statistics, there are 48.3 million orphans south of the Sahara desert. Of these, 25 percent have lost their parents due to AIDS.

** In America, according to IPS, there is "a new controversial Christian fundamentalist video game in which players battle the forces of the Anti-Christ and kill or convert non-believers."

"The game's story line begins in a time after the Rapture, when fundamentalist dogma contends that Christians will go to heaven. The remaining population on earth must then choose between surrendering to or resisting the Anti-Christ, which the game describes as the Global Community Peacekeepers whose objective is the imposition of one-world government... In the game, combatants on one side pause for prayer, intoning, Praise the Lord. A player can lose points for unnecessary killing but regain them through prayer," according to IPS.

** Palace watchers say His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni has been wrestling with the issue of who he has on his personal staff at the palace. He wanted to replace Director of Protocol Madame Sisoda who had served King Father Norodom Sihanouk faithfully in that position for years prior to his abdication. She left the position but then returned. Now the issue seems to have been resolved once and for all as Madame Sisoda was recently appointed Ambassador to China. The King is also said to want to replace Minister to the Palace Kong Som Ol, but sources say that may be a harder nut to crack.

** Phnom Penh motorists may think they have it bad waiting at the digital timer stoplights watching the seconds tick down from 60 to 0. But in Mumbai there is at least one light that starts at 240 seconds. Needless to say, if no cops are seen, most people just run the light.

** Alex Hinton, author of Why did they Kill? Cambodia in the shadow of genocide was in town this week. He doesn't look anything like what you'd imagine.