Showing posts from March, 2008

Worsening Economy Fuels Prostitution In Burma

Cherry and Kay Kay walk into room Number Two of a Rangoon karaoke bar, where a man waits alone for them on a brown leather sofa.

"Come on, girls. Sing, please," he says, as they flick the karaoke machine to a Burma folk song they hope he likes.

The scene may not be uncommon in many parts of Asia, but was until recently rare here in isolated Burma, where economic desperation is increasingly pushing young women into a sex trade that hides behind the facade of karaoke bars and massage parlours.

At the bars, known locally as KTVs for "karaoke television," young women in their late teens and early 20s entertain clients in private air-conditioned rooms furnished with sofas and karaoke equipment.

Waiters enter only when customers order food and drinks, or if the women ring a bell to alert the management that a client is getting out of hand.

Workers at KTVs say sex is not necessarily on offer, but they add that in the private rooms boundaries can be vague.

"It's hard to…

Rich Asian Men Turn To Poor Nations For Their Brides

Changing attitudes about love and marriage in rich Asian countries such as Taiwan, Japan and South Korea are pushing many desperate bachelors to seek out brides in other, poorer nations around the region.

Many Asian men, particularly those in rural areas, tend to seek traditional wives who will stay home, doing chores and raising children, says Mika Toyota, a research fellow at the National University of Singapore's Asia Research Institute, and other experts who study the region.

An economic boom in recent decades means women have options their mothers didn't. Better educated, they can have careers - and opt to stay single until Prince Charming shows up, if he ever does.

"Most Japanese women would prefer to live and work in the city," says Jeff Kingston, author of Japan's Quiet Transformation. "A guy out there in the boonies . has a tough job selling the wonders of being a farmer's wife."

Instead, the men increasingly seek women from countries such as C…

Lisa Ann Taylor Puts Her Mansion On Sale For $1.2 million

Life has not been easy for Lisa Ann Taylor since her guilty plea deal to several charges and her sentencing to seven years of probation.

The former Penthouse pet who had been accused of running a brothel out of her million-dollar home has put the mansion up for sale.

Lisa Ann Taylor has put the red-brick mansion, which sits in an exclusive suburban Atlanta subdivision, up for sale for $1.2 million.

Taylor, who has also performed under the name Melissa Wolf, became known as the Mansion Madam after being arrested along with another woman last year on prostitution and drug charges. As part of a plea deal, Taylor was sentenced to seven years probation and fined $150,000. If the fine isn't paid before Oct. 10, Gwinnett County can seize her home.

But Taylor said Tuesday that outcome is not likely.

"It's a good thing I put all that money away all those years ago," Taylor told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Taylor said she owns several other properties, including a house in Can…