The not necessarily the news quiz

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The Independent Online
How well do you think you keep up with the news ? Think you're as much in touch with the headlines as Trevor Macdonald? Then see how well you do with this test! All you have to do is read the following recent news stories and say which ones are false and which are true.

1. At the weekend, some members of the Royal Family made a bid for freedom after breaking out of Windsor Castle but were swiftly rounded up by a trained pack of polo ponies stationed nearby.

2. The world's first libel case has arisen from use of the Internet. A registered Internet user in Britain fed in some highly damaging information about Rupert Murdoch's organisation News International and he is being sued for libel by Murdoch in America. The defence that the libel, if any, took place in Britain is being discounted by Murdoch's lawyers, who say that a writ for libel can be issued anywhere that the libel was uttered and that means, in the case of the Internet, anywhere. The case will create a new precedent in international law.

3. The Tory party has tried, and failed, to insure itself against losing the next general election. No reputable insurance company will take the business. Only Lloyds has shown an interest, and has asked for certain conditions which even the Tory party has felt unable to agree to.

4. The oldest living war criminal has been found. Ernst Jungfer, who is 102 years old and living quietly in Munich, has been identified as the very same Ernst Jungfer who has been sought for atrocities committed in the last year of the 1914-1918 war, when he was 24 years old. He is the only known war criminal still wanted from the Great War. Although he may not have committed any atrocities himself, he is, as the oldest survivor, now responsble for anything done by anyone on the German side. A trial may be difficult, as there are no surviving witnesses, and Jungfer himself cannot remember anything about the First World War at all, or indeed anything about the Second World War, though he can remember every single episode of Dallas, which is not in itself a crime.

5. A stable of polo ponies stationed at Windsor stampeded over the weekend, following a visit by the Duchess of York in her new, stark, white-faced image. "The ponies knew her well in her old guise," said a palace spokesman, "but they seem to have freaked out when they saw this thing coming towards them. All is well now, as Fergie is back under lock and key and is being calmed down."

6. The new mystery majority shareholder in the Internet has now been identified as Rupert Murdoch. He is quoted as saying that he didn't realise till his recent Internet libel case just how powerful this new medium was, and he intends to take it over before he gets too tired-looking and haggard. He intends to issue two electronic newspapers on the Net, called the Daily E-Mail and E-Mail on Sunday.

7. A new one-day cricketing record has been created by Sri Lanka, when their opening batsman, Jarasiya, hit a century off the first ball - and was out as well. Under the bright stadium lights, the ball went missing under the umpire's feet and the opening pair ran 107 runs before it was found. But while he was trying to complete the 108th run, he was run out.

8. The Government's strategy for the general election is, it is being confidently reported, to make a huge amount of money for the Tory party by placing large amounts with the bookmakers on a Labour victory. "I don't see how we can fail," says a spokesman from under a large brown paper bag. "All we have to do is introduce large tax increases at the last moment and Bob's your uncle."

9. Damian Hurst, the controversial artist, has been accused of going commercial after unveiling his latest work, entitled "A String of Polo Ponies Pursued by the Royal Family, at Night". To create it, he had to set 60 or 70 polo ponies free at night and get the Royal Family out after them, in their night wear and gum boots, "which took a lot of organising, I can tell you", says his agent. But art critics say that this newest work is going right down market, and they point to the rave coverage it got in the Sun.

The answer is that, yes, it is true that Trevor McDonald is related to the founder of McDonald's and will not read out any news item criticising the hamburger chain. All the rest are false.

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