An Eye On: telephones

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Brussels: a Hungarian was arrested last week for robbing the cafeteria of a Belgian football club. He stole food, drink, a radio and compact discs, but his mistake was to telephone his girl-friend in Hungary before he stole the telephone too. When the phone bill arrived, officials noticed a pounds 70 international call and tracked the criminal through his girlfriend's number.

Britain: Of the 663,312 people who contacted BT's Nuisance Calls Bureau last year, 15 per cent were victims of malfunctioning electronic equipment, including one elderly woman who was rung up repeatedly throughou the night by a public toilet in a Leicester park which had developed a fault.

Brazil: A dispute is raging over a cellular phone concession in Sao Paolo. A Swedish consortium offered the biggest tender - of 1,326,943,944.00 reals, or about pounds 800m - but in Brazil the use of commas and full stops in writing numbers are reversed: the comma is the decimal point, and the full stop separates blocks of three digits. So they were told that the bid had been construed as being worth about 80p.

Britain: When asked in a recent poll which man's phone number they would most like to have, 21 per cent of women chose Tony Blair. Among men, the most desired number was that of the Spice Girls.