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Some recent news stories that you may have missed

Forbidden fruit

The durian, a sweet-tasting but vile-smelling fruit, may now be ordered over the Internet from a supplier in Singapore. Eating a durian has been compared with having an ice-cream in a busy public toilet. It evokes, according to one expert, "rich brimstone musk, whispering of depravity, and month-old eggs".

Durians may be ordered from, though delivery may be a problem. Airlines ban them and they are even forbidden on the Singapore underground.

Voodoo Day

The republic of Benin celebrated its first National Voodoo Day, as state recognition was given for the first time to the mystical religion that has flourished in Benin for 350 years.

Wrong sort of snow

Plans to stage the world's biggest snowball fight in a suburb of Chicago had to be modified when it failed to snow. The organisers quickly substituted 130,000 marshmallows and now hope to earn a place in the Guinness Book of Records for the largest marshmallow fight.

Sorry, I spent it

A court in Kentucky, USA, has ordered a lawyer to pay back with interest the $814,281.93 paid into his account in error by a bank in Australia. The bank pleaded that it had misplaced a decimal point in crediting him with $822,507 in mistake for $8,225.07. The recipient, however, would not say what he had done with the money after removing it from his account.

Rich droppings

Marwell Zoological park, near Winchester, has begun marketing 750g pots of rhino dung at pounds 2.50 each, to be used as fertiliser. "You use it fairly sparingly," they advise, "because it is quite strong."

Bad language

A judge in New Jersey, USA, has dropped charges against an Ecuadorean immigrant who had been given a ticket for being "a non-English-speaking driver". "Not speaking English is not a crime," explained an attorney from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Quote of the week:

"Norman Tebbit typifies Eng-lish sexiness at its corduroy, smouldering best", according to Glen Baxter.