News of the weird

Digitally challenged: Lorenzo Ubierna, 63, a Cuban former political prisoner now awaiting naturalisation in the United States, said: "I think this is a great country, but the bureaucracy ..." His problem is that the authorities require a full set of fingerprints before his citizenship application can go through and Mr Ubierna has lost four fingers on his left hand. His forms have been returned nine times.

Romance Florida style: The Florida legislature has passed a bill which would require couples to take pre-nuptial marriage classes before they are allowed to marry. If Governor Lawton Chiles signs the bill, his state will become the first in the US to make such classes mandatory.

Safe and sound: According to a survey commissioned by the Alliance & Leicester Building Society, women are twice as likely as men to get the telephone connected as soon as possible after moving house, but men are four times as likely to start arranging their CD collection. One in five home-owners turns the kettle on as soon as they move in.