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July 20th, 2003

The Corpse Scam.

HARARE (Reuters) - Two Zimbabwean mortuary workers have been arrested on charges they rented out corpses to motorists to enable them to take advantage of special fuel preferences given to hearses.

Zimbabwe's state-owned Herald newspaper reported on Saturday that a mortician and an assistant at a public hospital were arrested on Thursday and would soon appear in court on charges of violating dead bodies.

The two are accused of running a racket under which they sold fake burial orders to motorists who then took the corpses and transported them to service stations.

That allowed them to jump long queues to fill their tanks.

After buying the fuel they returned the bodies in their coffins to the mortuary, the newspaper said.

Zimbabwe has suffered a serious fuel shortage since November when a barter deal with Libya for the supply of nearly 70 percent of its needs collapsed.

To Hell.

SANTA FE, N.M (Reuters) - A New Mexico family is suing their local Catholic church over a funeral Mass in which they claim a priest said their relative was only a middling Catholic and going straight to hell.

Lawyers for the family of Ben Martinez said on Tuesday they had filed a lawsuit in June against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe and one of its priests.

Court papers filed last month say that Rev. Scott Mansfield said at Martinez's funeral last year that the deceased was "living in sin," "lukewarm in his faith" and that "the Lord vomited people like Ben out of his mouth to hell."