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In Ingushetia, in the Caucasus Mountains of Russia, the parliament is holding hearings on the subject of bride-stealing. Traditionalists maintain that the abduction of brides is an ancient custom, but others have pointed out that it frequently leads to battery, rape, suicide or murder.

In Lipovica, a village in Bosnia, UN files reveal that an argument between Pero Toljic and his wife resulted in his firing a bazooka at her when she fled to a neighbour's house. He missed his mark but caused great damage to the house. He was arrested for illegal possession of a firearm and disturbing the peace.

In France, at the start of the first European seminar on the prevention of prostitution, a poll showed that 74 per cent of people do not want to ban prostitution.

In California, a bus company has paid $50,000 to settle a suit brought by a vegetarian bus driver fired for refusing to give free hamburger coupons to passengers.

In Chicago, a survey has shown that seven out of eight Americans eat at least one low-fat meal a fortnight. They have also eaten six million more hamburgers, five million more chicken nuggets and eight million more portions of chips than in a similar two-week period last year.

In Britain, it has been announced that the Potato Industry Development Council will take over from the Potato Marketing Board.

Also in Britain, where it was National Dunking Day last Tuesday, research showed that men prefer digestives for dunking, while women go for Rich Tea biscuits. A dunking contest at the House of Commons was won by junior food minister Tim Boswell, who ate 13 biscuits in two minutes.