Middle East Tidbits: $10 Billion Sex Drugs, Anorexic Model Bill, Rise in Marriageable Age

 @AmruthaGayathri
on March 05 2012 2:13 AM
Israeli Model
Miss Universe 2005 contestant Elena Ralph of Israel models her outfit during the National Costume Show in Bangkok May 25, 2005. Speaker of an Israeli legislative body is seeking to pass a bill which outlaws the use of images of extremely underweight models in Israeli media. REUTERS/Chaiwat

Arab Countries Spend $10 Billion on Sex Drugs Annually

Nearly 12 percent of Saudi Arabia's 20 million men are believed to be suffering from impotence and 80 percent of these cases are associated with psychological problems.

Arab countries spend more than $10 billion on Viagra and other anti-impotence medicines every year and Saudi Arabia alone spends over $1.5 billion, followed by Egypt and UAE.

Saudis are the sixth largest consumers of sex drugs in the world. Their consumption is as much as 10 times that of Russia although the population in that country is more than 10 times the Saudis, Arabic language daily Al Riyadh reported.

Lifestyle diseases including diabetes, high rate of blood pressure and obesity fares high among the causal factors.

'Anorexic Model' Bill Aims to Ban Images of Extremely Underweight People in Media

The speaker of an Israeli legislative body is seeking to pass a bill which outlaws the use of images of extremely underweight models in the Israeli media, reports said.

The bill sponsored by Knesset deputy speaker Danny Danon, also includes an extension which restricts using extremely thin foreign models in advertisements in the public media. However, thin models appearing in foreign magazines that are circulated in Israel will be exempt from the precincts of the bill, initially.

The sponsors of the bill, while acknowledging ban on images of anorexic models presented a conflict with the freedom of speech, emphasized on the state's right to decide the content of the magazines that our children read.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Statistical Information System, Israel ranks 19th in the world in the number of deaths from anorexia, with two cases annually. The U.S. and Japan rank first and second, with 218 and 186 deaths, respectively.

Top Model Sues Samsung Mobile Phone Importer for 'Not Protecting Modesty'

Top Israeli model and actress Bar Rafaeli has sued Suny Electronics Ltd., the authorized Israeli importer of Samsung mobile phones, for about $1.2 million in a breach of contract case, which involves unauthorized use of the name of her ex-boyfriend and Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio in a 2006 advertisement.

Contrary to the explicit conditions in the contract, Suny used the name of Rafaeli's then-partner DiCaprio on billboards and a 2006 ad clip, in which Refaeli was shown receiving a call from the Titanic star.

Rafaeli accused Suny of using her unedited pictures which did not protect modesty or dignity in the advertisements. Reputation is not something that is necessarily built around money. I do things for free to build my reputation. The fact that we're talking here about business is not just related to money, but also to my image, Rafaeli said in her testimony against Suny last week.

Marriage Age to be Raised from 17 to 18

An Israeli ministerial committee has approved a bill to raise the marriage age from 17 to 18, which is headed for approval from the legislature.

Married minors reported a higher rate of divorce, domestic violence and financial difficulties, supporters of the bill said. Marriage by minors does not allow for higher education and social mobility... and perpetuates the cycle of poverty from generation to generation, Deputy Prime Minister Gila Gamliel said, according to reports.

According to official statistics of 2008, more than 2,000 minors got married that year.

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