Flat Earth

Strife in the air

Unaccountably, no one has listed the war of the check-in counters at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris among the many tests facing our inexperienced new government.

British Airways has closed its desk because the Algerian national airline has been placed next door and uses the same conveyor belt for luggage. It fears the carnage going on across the Mediterranean might spread to Paris, embroiling innocent Brits. This has infuriated the Algerians, as Robin Cook has no doubt immediately been made aware: "Les Anglais snobent Air Algerie" was the main headline in Le Matin of Algiers.

But the allegedly dangerous airline is allowed to fly to Heathrow, Gatwick and Luton without special measures. "We should demand better security in Britain," a pilot said, "because British Airways might be attacked by IRA bombers." Over to you, Mr Cook.

Hard labour

REMEMBER Walter Armanini, the flamboyant former Milan city councillor and one of the very few unlucky enough actually to be jailed in Italy's mega-corruption scandals?

Happily Armanini has been let out on day release. In theory he should be spending his days as a sales assistant in a jewellery shop but in practice he never turns up. His dapper if rather morose figure can be seen instead strolling through the medieval alleys of central Orvieto and sitting in his favourite bar drinking cocktails.

Such is life on the chain gang in Italy - it makes you wonder why more of those thousands of corrupt officials and industrialists don't try it out some time.

Over for Rover

THE Internet is a rich source of urban legends these days, though on reflection this is more of a rural tale.

This (American) man buys a Jeep Grand Cherokee for $30,000 (pounds 18,000) plus. He decides to take it out duck-hunting, but all the lakes are frozen. No problem: to open up enough water to float a decoy in, our friend parks on the ice and gets out a stick of dynamite with a short fuse, lights it and hurls it a safe distance away.

Trouble is, his Labrador chases off and starts bringing the dynamite back. Two barrels of birdshot are needed before the unhappy dog begins to think twice. But instead of dropping the dynamite it decides to seek refuge - you guessed it, under the Jeep.

End of fuse, end of dog and goodbye brand-new Grand Cherokee. The owner had yet to make his first $400 monthly payment, this e-mail says, and insurance companies don't cough up when illegal explosives are involved.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Life and Style
food + drink
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright and Mark Wright
tvStrictly goes head-to-head with Apprentice
footballPremier League preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's clashes
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas