News of the weird

No No-smoking: A court in Japan has upheld the right of the prime minister to smoke, after he was sued by members of an anti-smoking lobby. After becoming prime minister, Ryutaro Hashimoto said: "Taxes on cigarettes are big revenue sources for the central and local governments. I will smoke as much as possible, while watching my health, and avoid imposing a burden on the medical insurance system budget." His opponents claimed this violated an article of the constitution promising wholesome and cultured living.

Young at heart: A 67-year-old known as "Wild Willi" has been thrown out of an old folks' home in Berlin because of his wild parties and late- night card games. "First, Willi and his women start hollering. Then his neighbours start banging on the walls and pipes. Before you know it, the whole house is awake," another resident explained.

Pigs at play: Mariann Fischer, a Danish Liberal MP, has proposed giving toys and clean bedding to improve the welfare of the nation's

11 million pigs.

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