UPDATED: In the News Today

-- Whoever doused the 15-year-old kid with gasoline and lit him on fire should be charged as an adult. I don't care how old he is; the person who did this shouldn't get out of prison until he's 40.

This just in: The three kids charged are Denver Colorado Jarvis, 15, Michael Bent, 15, and Jeremy Jarvis, 13. I would guess that the older boys will be charged as adults and, if convicted, do serious time while the younger kid, apparently following his older brother, will be charged as a minor (Jeremy's lawyer also told the Sentinel he was "just there" and didn't do anything). The photo of the Jarvis brothers (that's Denver Colorado at right) at right was taken by Joe Cavaretta of the Sun-Sentinel.   

-- Move over, Seminoles. The Sun-Sentinel's Nick Sortal writes about video blackjack coming to Broward pari-mutuels. Minimum $5 bet with a max as high as $500. It's a testament to how idiotic Florida's gambling laws are that you can have a machine deal out blackjack but not a real person. Wouldn't want to create any jobs, would we?  

-- Unexpected upside to recession: Cheaper Costa Rican prostitutes! Here's a passage from today's Miami Herald story about the sex trade:

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But not everyone is happy about the increased competition, which, along with a contracting economy, has required some prostitutes to lower their prices by as much as 40 to 50 percent.

``Business is bad. The problem is competition. Sometimes I don't even make enough to take a taxi home after work,'' said Costa Rican prostitute Mayela, as she lingers by the

bar at Key Largo in search of a client.

Like many prostitutes, Mayela, a 36-year-old single mother with an unfinished education, first started selling her body for sex in her early 30s to support her children. After several years of prostitution, she made enough money to buy a small house and get her three daughters into decent schools. She eventually found an unskilled assembly line job at a factory, which paid less than prostitution but got her out of the skin trade, which she despises.

But when she got laid off earlier this year, Mayela said she had no choice but to return to wearing short skirts and working long nights.

``Now there are like 90 percent more girls working here than before,'' Mayela said of the scene at Key Largo. ``And most of them are foreigners.''

Even veteran foreign prostitutes notice the changes.

``There are a lot more Colombians now. Before it was mostly Ticas [Costa Ricans] and Nicas [Nicaraguans],'' said Elena, a Russian prostitute who was brought to Costa Rica by a Belgian man five years ago to work in a strip club.


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