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News you can lose: Forecaster pays for weather faux pas

Quirky news items from around the world.

A TV weatherman who predicted "whiteout conditions" when in reality almost no snow fell was ordered to sit in the "naughty corner" of the studio.

Tucker Barnes, a forecaster with the Washington station WTTG, claimed several inches of snow would bring the United States capital to a standstill, leading the city to shut down in expectations of blizzard conditions. In fact, Washington experienced only a few flurries.

The next day Barnes was shown sitting on a chair with his back to the camera, muttering: "How long do I have to sit over here?"

Hitler 'wasn't all bad'

More than four in 10 Austrians think Hitler "wasn't all bad" according to a new survey. And six out of 10 say they would like a "strong leader", in a poll taken before the 75th anniversary of the Anschluss, the annexation of Austria by Nazi Germany in 1938.

More than half of those polled also said that neo-Nazi parties would do well in elections if they were allowed to stand.

North Korea KO for US

A film reportedly made by North Korea claims that poverty-stricken Americans are forced to drink coffee made from snow and live in tents.

The online video says that there are no wild birds in the US because people eat them, while a commentator describes life in the United States as: "Drinking coffee made from snow, living in tents and buying guns to kill each other, especially children."

Doctors' 'go sick' trick

After being required to sign in to work using a biometric scanner, doctors at a Brazilian hospital created silicon fingers to take days off.

Officials recovered at least six fake finger tips after an anonymous tip-off and arrested a woman who had been using them to sign in colleagues.

The silicon fingers, complete with prints, are thought to have been used by up to 11 doctors at the hospital, near Sao Paulo.

Female sleep survey

Women who fail to get enough sleep wake up grumpier than men, a poll says.

A study into male and female sleeping habits discovered women were "more hostile and angry" than men if they did not get enough hours in bed.

Scientists at Duke University in North Carolina say women need sleep "to keep their hormones in balance".

Edward Suarez, an associate professor at Duke, said: "We found that for women, poor sleep is strongly associated with high levels of psychological distress."

Bush, the 'great' artist

President George W Bush will be remembered by history as "a great artist", according to his teacher.

Rather than the invasion of Iraq, the US leader will be known for his paintings of dogs, says Bonnie Flood, an art teacher who once taught the former president.

In a leaked email, she reveals Bush has painted more than 50 dog portraits and believes he is "going to go down in the history books as a great artist."

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