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Pigs in space

Flatulent pigs activated the fire alarms, forcing a South African Airways flight to make an emergency landing in Britain. The collective heat and methane given off by the 72 pigs were responsible for the alert. Fifteen prize stud pigs died of asphyxiation when halon gas was released in the cargo as part of the plane's automatic fire extinguishing system.

Triangle squared

Scientists claim to have solved the mystery surrounding disappearances in China's own "Bermuda Triangle". Their study of Heizhugou, or Black Bamboo Ravine, blames rotting plant matter which produces a poisonous miasma that makes people fall into the gorge. The 50 scientists also found a magnetic field so strong that it is likely to disable compasses and cause plane crashes.

Shout Hallelujah!

Three women in Pennsylvania have been taken to court by the Roman Catholic Church, accused of frightening schoolchildren and drowning out the choir with their loud and raucous prayers. Not wanting to ban the women - "We're not in the business of stopping people from coming to church," said a spokeswoman - the church took them to court. "We hope the judge's decision will give them a message," said the priest.

Hillary pillory

Bill Clinton's half-brother says he was disappointed when he first met Hillary Clinton. According to Roger Clinton's book, to be published later this year, the future First Lady "wore Coke-bottle glasses and her hair was braided."

Vote McLoony

Announcing his candidature in the Perth and Kinross by-election, Screaming Lord Sutch (Monster Raving Loony Haggis party) outlined his policies for Scotland. These include:

Haggis burgers at all McDonald's restaurants.

Diverting the Channel tunnel to John O'Groats.

Turning the European butter mountain into a ski run in the Cairngorms.

Creosoting all Scottish fences so other parties don't sit on them.

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