A survey of recent developments in an area of general interest.

In January, the Committee to Combat Begging and Vagrancy swooped on 221 beggars around the country, many of whom were so successful they were found chatting to each other on mobile phones.

In April, a Bedfordshire couple successfully sued a manufacturer of high technology beds after theirs had vibrated wildly and unpredictably, possibly as a result of interference from mobile phones.

In April, the Tokelau Islands in the South Pacific became the last country to have a telephone system installed. The president made the inaugural call to the prime minister of New Zealand, in whose territory the islands lie, to thank him for providing the pounds 600,000 that had made it possible.