Sophie Hardach

Sophie Hardach

    Boy cafés, sexy comics feed Japan's girl geek boom

    At Edelstein boarding school, the schoolboys wear lip-gloss, the headmistress has a weakness for homoerotic comic books, and there is only one subject: how to serve female visitors. Welcome to Tokyo's first schoolboy cafés, the latest in a flurry of eateries in Japan where customers and waiters role play themes from manga comics.

    Spider-Man 3 shows soul-searching superhero

    Even superheroes get the blues, as Spider-Man discovers in this latest sequel during which he confronts a mutant made of sand, a vengeful former friend and, ultimately, himself. In the sequel, Peter Parker, played by Tobey Maguire, is finally enjoying life with the beautiful Mary Jane Watson, played by Kristen Dunst, when he discovers a mysterious black suit that gives him special powers.

    Nigerians find violence in Italy sex trade

    The prostitutes lining the roads around Turin, a hub for the Nigerian sex trade, have names that evoke dreams of a bright future -- Joy, Blessing, Hope. Hope that they could escape poverty at home in Africa's most populous nation drew these women to Italy. But when they arrived, they were saddled with crushing debts. They were spat at, insulted, robbed and even raped.