Some recent news items of alcoholic interest

England: A student of health studies and part-time barmaid has discovered that she is allergic to beer. Kate Barrand was told by doctors that the itchy rash on her hands was an allergy caused by something she frequently came into contact with. "I thought it was paint when I was at art college, but then it dawned on me that it was the beer," she said. She now wears special latex gloves when pulling pints at the New Inn in Calverley, Leeds.

Colombia: Police arrested at least 80 drunks on the streets of Bogota in an attempt to keep down the murder rate, which usually rises dramatically over Halloween. Anyone staggering home drunk was liable to be arrested under a mayoral decree, but all were released after sobering up.

Germany: Research confirms that Bavarians are a nation of beer-drinkers. A survey revealed that the average Bavarian family drinks four gallons a beer a month, spends as much on beer as fresh fruit and drinks more beer than milk.

Japan: The town assembly at Ogo, about 60 miles north of Tokyo, voted to ask a member to resign after he was found guilty of biting a man's ear in a drunken rage. The incident happened two years ago when Susumu Homma, 56, was involved in a pub argument. The bitten ear required eight stitches. The Ogo assembly concluded that the assailant: "lacks the morals to be an assemblyman".