Meanwhile...

Some neglected news stories of the past week:
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The Independent Online
Some neglected news stories of the past week:

Crime prevention technique

An armed man fled from a shop in Groningen, the Netherlands, after he had passed the shopkeeper a note demanding money. The shopkeeper had handed him a note in return saying: "Sod off." A man was later arrested in possession of an air pistol and a variety of notes demanding money or telling victims to "hurry up".

Out of order

An engineer called to repair a goods lift at Reading police station had to bang and shout for help after he became trapped between floors when the passenger lift also broke down.

Garbage man

A Japanese man who filled his apartment with 1,400lbs of household rubbish was arrested for illegally dumping it on the outskirts of Tokyo. He had decided to get rid of the trash when the smell became unbearable.

Tintin's dry spell

A new book, Tintin et l'Alcool, which alleges that cartoon hero Tintin had a drink problem, has been banned in France. The widow of Belgian artist George Remi, who drew Tintin under the name Herge, took author Bertrand Boulin to court and obtained an injunction on the ground that he had reproduced 1,141 illustrations without permission.

Unhappy Pratt

A 36-year-old woman claiming to have lived in Britain all her life, but who spoke with a strong African accent and knew nothing of the Falklands War or the old pound note, was charged with making false statements when she applied for a passport. Passport officials did not believe her when she said she had changed her name from Louise Fox to Happe Pratt.

Small and hairy

Researchers in Sumatra are looking for a 70-inch tall hairy dwarf, or a possible colony of dwarfs, in the Kerinci Slebat national park. "It is quite difficult to catch the dwarf," said a local, "because it always turns up alone and can run very fast."

He's on the other line

Finnish state railways announced that they will not be introducing special compartments for users of mobile phones. Other passengers have complained of noise pollution.

Bear-faced cheek

Markku Tahvainen drove his family 250 miles to see the bears at a zoo in Finland, then returned home to learn, from droppings and paw prints, that a bear had visited their garden and stolen the ducks.

Flying snake

Pilots of a Russian jet sat perfectly still for three hours before making an emergency landing at Omsk, when they discovered a snake in the cockpit.

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