ORLANDO, Fla (Reuters) – More than half of Baby Boom-generation mothers support adult children financially and 60 percent are the go-to person when their grown kids encounter problems, according to a survey issued on Thursday.
That trend contrasted with the 86 percent of those 46- to 65-year-old women surveyed who said they were fully independent of their own parents by age 25.
"We wanted to get the hell out as soon as possible," said Liz Kitchens, a partner in The Kitchens Group, a public opinion research firm in Orlando, Florida, that conducted the survey.
The company conducted the national online survey of 441 women between February 14 and March 14.
TORONTO (Reuters) – Charlie Sheen, whose well-publicized list of bad habits includes smoking, is being offered a hand in kicking the tobacco habit by an Ontario cabinet minister, media reports said on Thursday.
Ontario Health Promotion Minister Margarett Best said she was personally willing to give Sheen a hand in quitting smoking while he's in Toronto on Thursday for his "My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is not an Option" show.
She also pointed out that health inspectors would be in the city's Massey Hall venue to make sure Sheen doesn't violate a provincial law prohibiting smoking in enclosed public spaces, the Canadian Press reported.
"I would encourage him, given that he is a smoker, to call our hotline and to try and quit smoking for his own health," the news service quoted the minister saying.
"You know, he can give me a call. I'll certainly direct him how to get the help that he needs," Best said.
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (Reuters) – Maybe it was spring fever that made a 9-foot, 20-year-old alligator make its getaway in south Arkansas.
The male American alligator was found missing on Tuesday afternoon at the Gov. Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center in Pine Bluff, about 45 miles south of Little Rock.
"We think he crawled up on a chain link fence, got his weight on it and pushed it down enough to get over it," Arkansas Game and Fish Commission spokesman Keith Stephens said in an interview. "He got to the next fence and was able to get under a gate."
The nature center sits near the Arkansas River and on the edge of swamps and bayous. The alligator was in an outdoor display near the back of the nature center's main building.
Stephens said he believes the alligator is now in the nearby swamps mingling with other alligators that live in the water.
Game and Fish officials searched around the center and under the building, which is on stilts.
CHICAGO (Reuters) – The parents of the Michigan toddler accidentally served alcohol at an Applebee's restaurant last week have filed suit against the chain's parent company, saying its employees have made similar mistakes with other children.
Taylor Dill-Reese and Dominic Wilson, the parents of 15-month-old Dominic Lacey Wilson, filed the lawsuit late Tuesday in Oakland County, where the restaurant is located.
The suit claims the two suffered emotional distress as a result of the incident and seeks unspecified monetary damages from the company for medical bills and non-economic losses.
Last Friday, the family visited an Applebee's in Madison Heights, Michigan, where -- among other things -- they ordered a child's meal for Dominic Jr. that was supposed to come with apple juice.
What the little boy apparently got instead was a margarita mix with alcohol in it and as he drank it he began exhibiting what the complaint characterizes as "grossly inappropriate" behavior.
HONG KONG (Reuters) – A period drama about a young man, a duke and royal drew hundreds in Hong Kong to the premiere of the territory's first 3D erotic film earlier this week.
The soft-porn "Sex & Zen: Extreme Ecstasy" debuts as the stricken porn industry turns to 3D as a potential money-spinner to revive its fortunes following the success of Hollywood blockbusters such as "Avatar."
"What we're going to expect is that people don't take it as an erotic or any gross thing to look at," said director Christopher Sun.
"Try to take it as an entertaining movie for adults."
His father, Stephen Shiu, was responsible for the original "Sex and Zen," a 1991 film that grossed over US$2.6 million and held the crown as the city's highest-grossing adult film for over a decade.
Based on a classic Chinese erotic text, "The Carnal Prayer Mat," the $3 million film, released on April 14, follows a young man as he befriends a duke and enters a world of royal orgies and other sexual peccadilloes.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Absolutely no one likes a rat, a city official said on Tuesday, demanding $1.5 million be restored to the budget to be help control what he called Manhattan's horrific rat problem.
Seeing vermin running amok on city streets and in subway tunnels is a turn-off for tourists, said Manhattan Borough president Scott Stringer.
"They don't want to come here and share their vacation with a New York City rat," Stringer told Reuters.
Demanding rat control money be restored to the city Health Department budget, Stringer said the cuts forced the layoff of 57 Pest Control workers. The result has been a 1.5 percent rise in complaints over last year and damage to New York's appeal as a tourist destination, he said.
It's also a public safety issue.
"I find this to be unacceptable because rodents are very dangerous to children and the quality of life of the city," Stringer said.
He said the cut "makes no sense" as the city's pest control program was collecting around $6 million in fines each year from building owners for pest-related health violations.
"Why would you make cuts to a program that actually makes money for the city?" Stringer said.
Unless the cuts are restored and the pest control force fortified, the rat control problem is only going to get worse, he said.
City health spokeswoman Susan Craig said the layoffs have "had no impact on the agency's ability to respond to rat complaints."
The city has adapted to the cuts by doing more comprehensive pest control sweeps of neighborhoods as opposed to responding to individual complaints, she said.
"Our new approach has allowed us to become better at discovering rat problems, better at notifying landlords about infestations and better at getting properties near each other to treat rat problems simultaneously," she said.
(Reporting by Aman Ali, editing by Barbara Goldberg and Greg McCune)
LONDON (Reuters) – British detectives said on Wednesday they were hunting for thieves who broke into one of their own police stations and stole their uniforms and radios.
The crooks burgled the police station in Uddingston, not far from Glasgow in Scotland, in the early hours of Tuesday morning when the office was shut.
"At no time has the safety of the public or any officer been jeopardized as a result of this break-in," said a spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police.
She declined to say how the audacious criminals had got into the building but added the radios had been disabled and could no longer be used.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison)
He just wanted to go to the beach!
Joyriding pilot Jason Maloney made every loopy, bizarre excuse in the book to air-traffic controllers to justify setting down his single-engine Piper in shallow water off the Rockaways shoreline Monday evening -- while dodging giant passenger jetliners taking off from Kennedy Airport in the process.
In the oddball transmissions, Maloney, 24, claimed he landed because he had a sick passenger or because his engine was "a little teeeensy bit rough" -- although he made a series of seemingly implausible excuses to land on the sand.
"Whooooa . . . What if I want to hide from you?" he radioed after a controller said radar showed his plane east of Jones Beach.
"This might be crazy," Maloney radioed a few minutes later. "But are we allowed to land on the beach?"
"I don't think so, unless it was an emergency," the controller answered.
"I'm a paramedic, uhhh, is there anyone I can ask?" he responded, before asking, "Any private beaches around?"
The transmissions were odd from the get-go.
Soon after taking off from Republic Airport in Farmingdale, Maloney asked if he could land his plane with its two passengers -- Clarke Oler, 22, and Chelsea Protter, 21, both Long Islanders -- at JFK.
He said he wanted to "drop a pastor off at JFK who is doing some medical mission work. Where would I drop him off at your airport?"
The controller advised Maloney to check with the Port Authority.
LONDON (Reuters) – New diets for cows and sheep could reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, research funded by the Department for environment, food and rural affairs (Defra) shows.
Feeding the animals maize silage, naked oats and higher sugar grasses could reduce the amount of methane they produce, the study by Reading University and the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences showed.
Agriculture accounts for around nine per cent of all British greenhouse gas emissions. Most of this comes from sheep, cows and goats.
Farming accounts for 41 per cent of Britain's overall methane emissions, which are harmful to the environment.
LILLE - The mayor of a town in France has thrown a patriotic female statue out of his town hall because its breasts were too big, his aides said on Friday.
The terra-cotta bust of Marianne -- the traditional female embodiment of the French Republic in a Phrygian cap -- was an original work by a local artist, installed in 2007 at the town hall in Neuville-en-Ferrain, population 10,000.
"It was making people gossip," said one town hall employee who asked not to be named. "Remarks were made, during weddings for example."
Mayor Gerard Cordon persuaded councilors to approve 900 euros ($1,280) in this year's budget to buy a replacement, a more conventional bust of Marianne modelled on the statuesque French model Laetitia Casta.
The artist who made the rejected bust, Catherine Lamacque, said she gave it outsized breasts deliberately, "to symbolize the generosity of the Republic."
The town hall bought her terra-cotta statue in 2007 for 1,400 euros.