Flat Earth

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The Independent Online
Off side

ALL THE Serbian candidates for the three-member presidency of Bosnia in this weekend's general election are agreed on one thing: their bit of Bosnia should have its own international sports teams. "How come Scotland can have a national soccer team [and we cannot]?" demands Momcilo Krajisnik, the hardliner who has the job and is seeking re-election.

Serb teams refuse to play in Bosnian leagues, and the top Bosnian Serb soccer team refused last year to take part in play-offs which might have given them a place in the Uefa Cup. Their loss, you might say, but Britain's four footballing nations, who are always having to fight off attempts to get them to form one team, will not relish being held up as an example by a man who hangs out with indicted war criminals.

Berry impressive

GO FOR a walk in Florida's West Palm Beach, and you may find a disproportionate number of balding men and flat-chested women.

The simple explanation is: this year there has been a record harvest of the palmetto berry, an olive-shaped fruit that, some people believe, increases breast size and helps male baldness. The crop has prompted an unprecedented wave of illegal berry-poachers operating in a lucrative black market, to the dismay of local authorities. Rangers last week stopped four men with 900kg of the fruit. No mention was made of their appearance.

Great timing

YOU have to feel sorry for the organisers of a glittering conference in London next month. Its title is "Moscow Invest '98", and the host is the Russian capital's mayor, Yuri Luzhkov.

With Russia's economy in ruins, who will turn up to such an ill-timed event? Well, how about the members of Britain's biggest-ever trade mission to Russia, which has just completed its visit?

Raymond Whitaker

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