Source AP ©

NYC pastor reviles at billboards next to his Times Square church

The pastor of a nearby Times Square church considers bidet company's advertising plans too impertinent.

Rev. Neil Rhodes, pastor of the interdenominational Times Square Church, is asking a state court to block a billboard company from posting huge ads that feature naked buttocks with smiley faces on them. The display is to go up on two sides of the Broadway building that houses Rhodes' church, its Bible school and day-care center.

"You walk into a church building, you have naked bodies before your eyes, how are you going to close your eyes and seek God?" Rhodes told the New York Post in an article published Sunday.

The ads promote the Washlet, a bidet-toilet seat that uses warm water and air. They were to go up for 30 days beginning July 1, but the church asked the state Supreme Court to block the displays, saying they would interfere with the church's religious mission.

Adam Silverstein, a lawyer for the advertising company, Van Wagner Communications, told the newspaper that he did not wish to trivialize the church's objections, but that "this is Times Square. It's the billboard capital of the world, and it's home to some of the most sensational advertisements in the universe."

A ruling was expected Monday.

Russia's Ministry for Foreign Affairs is seriously concerned about the state of health of former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Sergei Skrypal's niece, Victoria Skripal, said that her uncle had already died.

UK wants Sergei Skripal dead

The Basmanny Court of Moscow arrested Michael Calvey, the founder of Baring Vostok investment fund, on allegations of embezzling 2.5 billion rubles from Vostochny Bank. Calvey will be held in custody until April 13

Putin informed about arrest of US investor Michael Calvey
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