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Flat Earth: In the chowder

SO WHAT was the ambassador up to? According to Long Island police, they caught Le Van Bang, Vietnam's envoy to the UN, red-handed in Hog Creek illegally catching clams. When first confronted, according to the town prosecutor, the ambassador pretended he didn't understand a word of English.

But when the police turned up, His Excellency and his driver instantly dropped two plastic bags filled with clams and claimed diplomatic immunity.

Then a spokesman at Vietnam's mission said the incident was all a misunderstanding. 'They were not picking up clams. They were just swimming around.' And now, no one will say anything at all. It's long been agreed that an ambassador is sent abroad to lie for his country. But to go abroad to clam up for your country - that's quite new.