British Foreign Office to drunk Britons everywhere: No, we can't translate that tattoo for you

British consular officials are completely fed up with fielding stupid requests for assistance from Britons abroad. Or, at the very least, that's the clear subtext of a ridiculous press release by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office that lists the most bizarre requests British diplomatic posts have received in 2012 and 2013 (it also makes the U.S. State Department's press releases look incredibly boring).

The release describes the requests as "often good natured" but notes that they "can take valuable time away from helping those in genuine distress." To put it less politely: "Dear Britons, we are far too busy dealing with real problems to help you pick out a perfect tattoo during your debauched romp through the Mediterranean."

Here, in all its glory, is the full list:

  • A man who required hospital treatment in Cambodia when a monkey dislodged a stone that hit him demanded help getting compensation and wanted assurance that it would not happen again
  • A man asked FCO staff in Rome to translate a phrase for a tattoo that he wanted
  • Consular staff in Beijing were asked to help a woman who had bought a pair of football boots that were ‘Made in China' but were poor quality
  • A woman requested that consular staff in Tel Aviv order her husband to get fit and eat healthily so that they could have children
  • Consular staff in Kuala Lumpur were asked if the FCO could help pay to send their children to an International School
  • A man asked consular staff in Stockholm to check the credentials of a woman whom he had met online
  • A man asked the Consulate in Montreal for information to settle a £1,000 wager on the colour of the British passport
  • A number of British Consulates have been asked to book hotels or to advise on where to watch the football

So, Britain, please stop bothering your country's harried diplomats with your inane requests. They don't care about your tattoo.



Ramzan Kadyrov threatens to shut down his Instagram account

It looks like FP collected Ramzan Kadyrov's 11 weirdest Instagrams just in time. Today brought news that the Chechen president is threatening to close his popular account.

According to Radio Free Europe, the threat comes after Kadyrov posted a photograph of himself standing next to Bekkhan Ibragimov, a Chechen who everyone thought was serving jail time for his part in the 2010 killing of a Russian soccer fan.

In the photo's caption, Kadyrov wrote that he was helping Ibragimov combat local corruption that had prevented him from receiving registration documents.

Kadyrov apparently thought his Instagram followers would be pleased with his hard line on corruption, but instead the Chechen leader was immediately barraged with angry comments criticizing him for his support of such a controversial figure. (The 2010 killing of Yuri Volkov, the Russian soccer fan, sparked protests in Moscow.)

In comments cited by Russian media and reported by Radio Free Europe, a peeved Kadyrov responded to the criticism on LiveJournal:

I no longer understand my subscribers at all. One minute you say we need to fight corruption and punish bribe-takers, but when you see real action in this direction you start discussing and condemning the person that exposed illegal action by a bureaucrat.... Your comments are worth absolutely nothing. It is just empty chatter. That's why I think it's probably better for me to delete [my] Instagram [account] and work without taking an interest in your opinions on this or that issue.

Kadyrov has yet to make good on his threat, but he did express similar grievances on Instagram. Of course, he accompanied those comments with yet another picture.

Ramzan Kadyrov's Instagram account