Although you wouldn't think so from the endless dreary coverage of its proceedings, there is more to the news than the Hutton inquiry. But how well have you kept up with the world of news outside Hutton?
Well, there is an easy and fun way to find out! All you have to do is read the following five non-Hutton news stories taken from the last two weeks. One of them is completely made up. Can you spot which?
1. Because word order is different in French, their abbreviations are different to ours, and usually back to front - for instance, what we call NATO they call l'OTAN, while AIDS in France is SIDA, which is nearly but not quite back to front.
A more recent addition is GM foods, which in France are known as MG foods. Thus, throughout France you now find posters and notices erected by enemies of GM foods saying "NO to MG!", "MG Kills!", and so on. This is naturally very distressing for MG cars, who feel unfairly targeted and are taking out a huge compensation claim aganst the French government.
2. On a recent edition of The Weakest Link, the contestants were, as usual, asked at the end of the first round to vote off one of their number.
When the contestants revealed, one by one, the name they had written down, it was found that they had all nominated Anne Robinson for removal.
It turned out that before recording the programme, they had informally decided that they all loathed Anne Robinson's persona so much that they would flout the rules of the programme and get rid of her, rather than one of their own.
Anne Robinson asked one of the contestants, "Why me, Phyllis?"
"Because," said Phyllis, "we all think you're very rude without being in the least witty, and the programme would be better off without you."
The episode was not broadcast.
3. The cork industry has been at its wit's end since the wine industry decided to move away from natural cork to plastic stoppers, and since the even more deadly decision of some countries, like New Zealand, to use screw tops. How can they save the traditional cork forests? What else can be done with cork? How else can they possibly sell it?
Now, the industry has taken a brave decision to see if cork can be used as a foodstuff. And early tests show that cork contains a wonderful amount of roughage and lots of fibre, as well as negligible amounts of fat. It's tasty, too. Local test marketing of Cork Flakes, an experimental breakfast cereal, are said to be encouraging. It will be going nationwide before Christmas.
4. Mel Gibson has run into trouble with his new film about the last days of Christ, being accused of anti-Semitism because he uncompromisingly blames the Jews for the Crucifixion. He has now received support from an unexpected quarter. His supporters are a small Jewish sect called Hebrews for Peace who claim that Jesus deserved to be put to death and that they are glad to take credit for any part the Jews played in it.
"Jesus was a definite troublemaker and a political activist," they say. "He only had himself to blame. If he were around today, we think the Israeli government would be equally tempted to take him out. We would certainly support such a move."
They are officially disowned by mainstream Jewish thought, though Mr Gibson is said to be interested to hear more from them.
5. The publishers of Who's Who have just discovered in time that one of the people planned for inclusion in their next edition does not exist. Rear-Admiral Greenback, a popular if eccentric after-dinner speaker and former water-skiing champion, was invented by a Sunday newspaper diary column to provide items on lean days. Who's Who picked up so many references to him they thought they should include him and wrote to the Rear-Admiral c/o the diary. The diary opened the letter, invented a biography, and sent it back to be duly processed by Who's Who. The mistake was only discovered when Who's Who decided to check the details with the British water-skiing authorities and found there was no such person.
Well? Did you spot that the last story was actually invented by us? Well done you!
Funnily enough, all the others were as well.
Small wonder nobody trusts journalists these days.Reuse content