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mystic deb

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

Thursday 26th February

John Prescott pledges to build more housing on previously developed inner- city areas which are now serving no useful function. Lord Irvine is faced with immediate eviction from the Palace of Westminster.

A new law in Austria requires men and women to share household duties in equal measure. When asked about Britain's legal position regarding men in aprons, a senior police spokesman replies that most of his officers are already Masons.

Friday 27th February

Peter Mandelson reveals the figure inside the Dome to be a Madonna and child. He then attempts to supplement funding for the beleaguered project by claiming Lone Parent benefit as well as Lottery money.

Kofi Annan attempts to broker a second deal on inspection of official residences. But despite long negotiations, he fails to get a concession on the pounds 8 fee to look round Buckingham Palace.

American scientists claim that 80 per cent of bank notes are contaminated with traces of cocaine. Barclays customers demand that British notes be similarly treated, in the hope that this might speed up the cashiers.

Saturday 28th February

Speculation continues in the Business Pages regarding pharmaceutical company mergers. A top medic warns - taking too many of these supplements may cause severe drowsiness.

Noel Gallagher announces his ambition to buy a top British football club, sparking rumours that the merger between the country's two biggest drug suppliers may be back on again.

Sunday 1st March

John Birt pledges to axe "docu-soaps" from the BBC. Kofi Annan is sent in to enforce a No Fly On The Wall zone.

The Post Office bids to take over running the National Lottery. To ensure that all 49 balls are shaken vigorously and distributed completely at random, a spokesman explains that they will be marked "Fragile" and sent by Red Star parcels.

Following the revelation that four out of five American dollar bills are contaminated with traces of cocaine, financiers explain that from now on, notes will be printed with two numbers - their face value, and their street value.

Monday 2nd March

Americans are shocked to discover that 80 per cent of their banknotes may be contaminated with traces of cocaine. Gordon Brown visits the States on a fact-finding mission regarding revaluation of the pound.

A top sports coach backs the use of marijuana in British sport. Explaining that it won't improve our athletes' performance, but at least they won't care so much about coming last.

Tuesday 3rd March

Sean Connery responds calmly to allegations that he was blatantly denied a Knighthood at the request of Donald Dewar. When asked for his reaction, Mr Connery admits that he is "shaken, but not Sirred".