Mystic deb

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Next week's big stories... direct from the City's top speculator.

Thursday 12th March

John Prescott denies accusations that he may once have accidentally hit the Tory MP Jerry Hayes in the stomach. Striving to restore his reputation, Mr Prescott protests that he deliberately hit Mr Hayes, and he was aiming for the face.

Speculation regarding Tony Blair's religious faith continues. The PM joins hundreds of Catholics marching on Trafalgar Square demanding their Right to Rome.

Scientists unveil a project to develop the moon as an interplanetary refuelling station. The crew of Mir are "thrilled" to hear that they will soon be eligible for a set of free glass tumblers or one 60-minute audio cassette.

Friday 13th

The journalist who broke the Paula Jones scandal apologises fully to President Clinton. He bows his head, goes down on his knees, and admits that Paula probably did neither.

City futures traders welcome the launch of a new electronic trading system - declaring it "LIFFE, Jim ... but not as we know it".

German firms begin to conduct meetings in English, saying that doing business thereby requires 30 per cent fewer words. Gordon Brown does his best to disprove this theory.

Saturday 14th

A new watchdog is set up to oversee school inspections. The body is to be officially known as OFFBUNK.

Commons members are no longer obliged to wear a tall top hat when standing to making a point of order. In future, the only person required to wear a tall top hat when he stands up will be Robin Cook, so people can see him.

The Liberal Democrats hold their 10th birthday party. The celebration is marred when, during musical chairs, all the participants lose their seats.

Sunday 15th

The Chancellor withdraws plans for a pounds 50,000 ceiling on the new ISA account. Lord Irvine, however, refuses to withdraw plans for a pounds 50,000 ceiling in his downstairs loo.

Monday 16th

The 14-year-old who claimed to have made his first million selling second- hand cars is revealed to have been lying about his age. He's actually a resprayed 49-year-old who has had his biological clock put back.

Remington shaver tycoon Victor Kiam buys the cigarette-lighter manufacturer Ronson, and tries to popularise a new method of facial hair removal: stubble-burning.

Delighted film fans welcome the discovery of 10 minutes' previously unviewed footage from The Exorcist, explaining that these scenes have remained unseen for so long by being shown only on peak-time Channel Five.

Tuesday 17th

Rupert Murdoch retracts his claim that Chris Patten's autobiography was boring and predictable, explaining that he was confusing the book with John Major's autobiography.

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