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

Roach riches

Rebecca Lynn of Florida won the first prize of $1,000 and a year's supply of Combat products in a national competition in the US to find the house most infested with cockroaches. "We have to shake the shower curtains free from roaches to take a shower, we have to hold our plates at dinner so they won't eat the food and we have to sleep sitting up so roaches won't crawl on us," she said.

End of eternity

The "eternal flame" burning in the Russian city of Taganrog to honour those killed in the Second World War went out after the city failed to pay its gas bill.

Disputed record

The Italian town of Citta Sant'Angelo claims a new world record after cooking 105 kilos and one gram of spaghetti in a huge pot in the town square. Unfortunately it was eaten by the crowd of over 4,000 before the record could be verified independently.

Not a pretty sight

A "Miss Ugliness" competition will be held in Sao Vicente de Ferrer, Brazil, in a lack-of-beauty pageant next weekend. The winner will receive a used bicycle and about pounds 150.

Setting the wheel in motion

Harriet, a tortoise from Sevenoaks, has been fitted with a Meccano wheel to help it get about after a leg amputation.

Toe scar

The Italian tenor Fabio Armiliato was carried off on a stretcher after injuring his foot during the execution scene in the third act of Tosca. It was probably hit by flying debris from a blank fired from a rifle. The remainder of the performance, at Macerata, Italy, was cancelled.

Nuns in nude cavorting ban

A mysterious woman who was found earlier this year in a cave in Cyprus has now been expelled from a convent. The nuns, who had been caring for her, were appalled at her paintings of naked people cavorting. The archbishop of Limassol was reported as saying: "She is a rowdy person and she shocks the nuns." The woman is now in an old people's home.

Cat heroine

A cat called Ugly Sister saved a family from a collapsing mud house in Beiling, China, by pushing open the window and pulling urgently on her owner's trousers. They escaped seconds before the building fell down.

Strike victory by a whisker

Workers at an Indonesian textile factory went on strike for the right to grow moustaches and beards. They returned to work after employers agreed to a compromise, allowing facial hair provided it is well trimmed.

Soccer shocker

A Shanghai football fan committed suicide after his team's opponents scored an equalising goal in a Chinese league cup competition semi-final.

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