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Polish PM pledges to uncover truth over secret CIA prison claims

Former US intelligence officials have identified Poland, along with Romania and Lithuania, as countries that hosted secret CIA prisons.

Erotic toys for Catholics

In Poland, an online sex shop comes out with a range of sex toys for married Roman Catholic couples "who love God."
In the Polish online sex shop for married Catholics, the “romantic evening package” comes decked out with "sexy dice," raunchy underwear, massage oil and a book called “Theology of the body – blessed by John Paul II”. (Alkowa Malzenska /Courtesy)

Roll the dice.

It’s been endorsed by the Catholic Church in Poland. If you are married, that is.

So claims Izabela Kwiatkowska, who opened Alkowa Malzenska (Marital Alcove), an online sex shop for married Catholic couples. 

"We came to the conclusion that marriage is the best terrain for developing sexuality," she said to the TVP public television network.

According to, the “sexy dice” sex toy is currently the hottest seller in the e-shop.

So how does it work?

The dice recommends where partners should caress or kiss each other, if they have run out of ideas in their long marriages. (Hands, as scandalous as that is, is one of the recommendations.)

Customers can buy the dice separately, or in a “romantic evening package” that comes with raunchy underwear, massage oil and a book called “Theology of the body – blessed by John Paul II."

The notion of “sex compatible with Catholicism” is getting some traction lately, especially in Poland.

Long before Catholic-friendly lubricants made their way to local households, happy Poles already had one renowned Catholic sexpert: Father Ksawery Knotz.

I interviewed him in 2010, when the Capuchin friar published his best-selling book “Sex is Divine.”

He has also been publishing a popular blog, where he addresses anything from God-approved birth control to the morality of oral sex.

Here's Father Knotz on that last point:


Euro zone crisis: a pause for reflection

A Greek bail-out was agreed this week. Now what?
Euro halftimeEnlarge
The euro zone crisis at half-time, what's going to happen next? (Sean Gallup/AFP/Getty Images)

It's half-time in the euro zone crisis. So gather round and take a knee, and let's figure out what we've learned from the first half.

1. The bond markets work one way and the EU works another. Their methods are wholly incompatible. That's what caused the crisis to explode in the way it did. But a synthesis was reached between the two, because the EU's leaders ultimately showed the big institutional players in the bond market they were serious about tackling not just Greece's problems, but government deficits throughout the euro zone.

Government leaders who did not get with the program were removed. Once governance issues were resolved, the bond markets began to calm down.

This is a key lesson for American economic commentators to remember. Bond markets don't entirely rely on spread-sheet data. They care about unquantifiable things like good governance. Italy under Berlusconi was a joke, under Mario Monti it is a country whose governance gives hope of being as effective as its luxury goods businesses, which dominate their sector of world trade.


Warsaw - I'm in Warsaw on assignment and came across a very interesting interview in the current edition of the Warsaw Business Journal.  It's with Tadeusz Mazowiecki, the first post-Communist Prime Minister of Poland and current adviser to Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski.

Here are some of the key points:

"There is a financial crisis in the euro zone. This has had a psychological effect on Poles, but I do not think it has had a fundamental influence on our attitude towards the European Union, which remains positive. There is a deep-rooted social awareness that the future of Poland is linked with the European Union, and the young generation does not remember the time when we fought for our membership of the EU, and treats it as a natural thing."


Polish Nobel Literature Prize winner dies

Wislawa Szymborska, one of the greatest European writers of the last half century, is dead at the age of 88
Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska, who has died aged 88 (JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

When Wislawa Szymborska, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996 she was unknown outside her country. The prize often honors the obscure - and they remain that way because their work does not transcend the bounds of language and culture.

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