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Belgian soldiers to blowtorch caterpillars

A mini-platoon of soldiers wielding blowtorches will be deployed to the Belgian forests to tackle a plague of hairy caterpillars that are causing allergy outbreaks in humans.

Procession caterpillars, so called for the way they march in lines through forests, are covered in long, toxic hairs which cause dermatitis and respiratory problems and account for up to 80 per cent of doctor visits in the affected area.

Magnify

Study Finds Cocaine, Pot in Rome's Air

Researchers may have figured out what makes la vita so dolce in Rome. A report from Italy's National Research Council released Thursday found that there are traces of cocaine and cannabis in the air of the Eternal City.

Comment: They'll probably find some way to blame this on plain, old, tobacco filled cigarettes.


Wolf

Tigers' chick-mates

Zoo-keepers in China say they were shocked when a group of tiger cubs made friends with some newborn chicks.

Workers at Zhejiang Wenling Zoo in Taizhou city put the chicks in a cage with the four month-old tiger cubs.

A zoo spokesman told People's Daily: "We wanted to bring out the savage nature of the tigers while they were still cubs."

Crusader

What Sex Toy Would Jesus Use? Better Ask a Celibate Priest First

A Catholic priest has removed his church's organist and choir director from her duties saying her sale of sex toys was not "consistent with Church teachings."

Magic Wand

Baby hedgehogs rescued after they are born too early

These tiny newborn hedgehogs are proving a handful for carers at a rescue centre - after the mild weather triggered a string of early orphaned arrivals.

The seven babies - from two separate families - have all been handed in to the Prickly Ball Farm Hospital in Devon in the last week.

Staff say Britain's mild spring weather has caused the females to come out of hibernation and give birth around a month early.

This means that animal rescue centres are dealing with the inevitable orphaned offspring weeks earlier than expected.

Gear

Divorce on menu

A man has applied to divorce his wife of 18 years after he found she was feeding him pumpkin instead of zucchini, as he had previously thought.

©CardCow.com

Wolf

Dogs Playing Pool

Border collie Blue has amazed pub-goers by playing pool with his paws.

The pooch jumps up so his front two paws are resting on the table and then, standing on his hind legs next to owner Jeff Davies, looks down the cue sight. When he has a shot on, he sinks the ball into the pocket.

©Caters
The 'Hurricane Higgins' of the dog world lines up a shot.

Bizarro Earth

Robber Asks Clerk for Date During Hold Up

A Milwaukee robber held up a store and then hit on the store clerk over the weekend.

Two men robbed a Milwaukee, Wisconsin U-Haul store Sunday afternoon. But one of them wanted more than cash.

"He stuck around and was trying to get the female employees number," U-Haul General Manager Patrick Sobocinski said. "She said he was just saying, 'Hey baby, you're pretty fine,'" Sobocinski added.

The two robbers pulled up to the store in a late 1980's model Cadillac. They got out then walked inside.

Light Sabers

Southern Chinese province to ban men from keeping mistresses

Southern China's Guangdong Province, one of the country's richest regions, is set to draft a new law banning married men from keeping mistresses, local media reported Wednesday.

The law goes one step further than a new set of anti-corruption and ethics laws released by the central government on Sunday, which include banning government officials from using their influence to benefit their lovers.

The new law in Guangdong, also known as the Canton Province, is part of a set of laws on women's rights. The legislation forbids married men from setting up "love nests" for their mistresses, and is aimed at "preserving and enhancing marital stability," the Beijing News quoted Guangdong lawmaker Cheng Jingchu as saying.

The practice of Chinese businessmen setting up second homes for their lovers has become widespread in the country in recent decades.

Question

Artist eats corgi in royal fox protest stunt

A British artist ate a corgi dog, famous for being Queen Elizabeth II's favourite breed, in protest after a group including her husband Prince Philip allegedly killed a fox earlier this year.

©AFP
Mark McGowan ate a corgi in protest against the shooting of a fox by Prince Philip