Charities in the UK might be casting envious glances to Kuwait, where the government is considering introducing a law that would make it illegal to spread negative rumours about charities.
The proposed new law says that anyone who publishes false news, information or statistics or intentionally spreads rumours of publicity that would negatively affect charity work and trust in a certain country would face a fine of between about £26,000 and £46,000.
The footballer Lionel Messi caused something of a stir in Egypt when he offered a pair of football boots for a charity auction on a TV show broadcast in the country. Unremarkable you might say, except that in the region the shoe is a symbol of dirt and can be used as an insult. "We have never been (so) humiliated during our 7,000 years of civilisation," said Said Hasasin, a member of Egypt's parliament. "I will hit you with the shoes, Messi." The presenter who interviewed Messi, however, leapt to his defence and said the star was never going to donate his boots to an actual charity in Egypt, only that they would be auctioned to raise funds.
Staying in the Middle East, in Israel a five-year-old boy took celebrations for the Jewish festival of Purim a bit too far after he dressed up as a charity box and ended up needing emergency surgery to remove a coin he had swallowed. The boy's teacher noticed he was in distress and tapped him on his back, causing a coin to shoot out of his mouth, local media reported. He then suffered a coughing fit and was rushed to hospital where another coin was discovered trapped in his lungs, requiring emergency surgery. Kids, don't try this at home!