Okay, on a happier note then... Here are the world's funniest and strangest stories of 2007 according to AFP. A selection:
- The CNN TV network had to apologise to US presidential hopeful Barack Obama after it confused his surname with the first name of the world's best-known terrorism suspect. A sequence on the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden carried the caption "Where's Obama?" (full)
- An Australian bank was embarrassed when it emerged that it had issued a credit card to a cat. The owner of Messiah, a ginger tom, had put in the spoof application to test the bank's security system. (full)
- A 100-year-old woman in Germany moved out of her retirement home after six weeks saying she found the other residents not only boring but also "too old". She returned home to her cat.
- Switzerland's army inadvertently invaded the tiny neighbouring state of Liechtenstein. A unit on manoeuvres got lost at dead of night, officials said. (Full)
- The Norwegian government abolished a regulation that had allowed strip-clubs to claim exemption from sales tax on the grounds that their performances were an art form. (Full)
- A British man claimed the dubious distinction of making the first ever mobile phone call from the summit of Mount Everest. "It's cold" were his first words. (Full)
- Fishery officials in China restocked a river with 13 truckloads of live carp, only to realise that thousands of residents from a nearby city had immediately swarmed to the banks a short way downstream and caught most of them. (Full)
- Transport officials in Australia try to discourage men from driving too fast with a series of TV ads featuring attractive woman suggesting that speeding males were trying to compensate for inadequate virility.
- A town in South Korea which spent some 140 million dollars to build its own airport was then forced to admit that no airlines actually wanted to fly there.
- The Chinese capital Beijing began a campaign to improve its signposting in English ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games. Among signs in need of correcting were ones for "Pubic Toilets," and "Deformed Men" -- the latter indicating facilities for the handicapped.
- A US man who ordered flowers for his mistress sued the florists after they sent a note to his home thanking him for his order -- thereby informing his wife of his infidelity.
- An African medicine man dived into a river in Tanzania after promising his fellow villagers that he would bring back revelations from ancestral spirits lurking underwater. He drowned.
- A child maths prodigy who started university in Hong Kong at age nine, said he found the courses too easy, and rather boring.
- A Belgian prankster reacted to a prolonged political crisis in his native land by putting the entire country up for sale on the Internet auction site eBay. The company halted the bidding.
- Dutch anglers were up in arms against immigrant workers from Poland, who also enjoy fishing in the many local lakes. The problem being that the Poles actually eat the fish they catch, whereas the Dutch believe in simply putting them back in the water.
- A posh food store in New York was embarrassed after an employee, who was clearly not Jewish, stuck a "Delicious for Hanukkah" sign on hams. Jews, for whom Hanukkah is a religious holiday, do not eat pork.
Stories courtesy AFP. Post found thanks to Digg. Picture courtesy encircling.us ...