Austria: The new 1000 schilling note recently issued in Austria has been described as a forger's dream. The notes have been found to lose their purple numerals if rubbed, and measurements have shown that they are not all the same size. The width of the blue stripe down the side is also not uniform.

Italy: A new 1000 lire coin has been withdrawn because four mistakes were found on the map of Europe displayed on one side, including the total omission of Denmark.

Australia: Optimistic conmen have been trying to pass off a fake US$1 million note in banks in Sydney. The note carries official-looking serial numbers, and even comes with a "certificate of authenticity" - yet the largest note ever produced by the US treasury is one for $1,000.

Britain: According to a survey by the credit card company Goldfish, the average grandmother receives Christmas presents worth pounds 20.66 from members of the family, while only pounds 18.24 is spent on Grandad. Children under 12 do best, with pounds 75 worth of presents from each of their parents.