x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Rats! Downing St cat might be someone else's

The rat-catcher at No 10 Downing Street might have belonged to someone before the British PM found him ... and other news and oddities.

A custody battle has broken out over a rat-catching cat, brought in to clear vermin from the official residence of the British prime minister.

A family from east London says it recognises "Larry" as its pet Jo, who went missing several months ago.

Margaret Sutcliffe says: "I still can't believe that my Jo has ended up being taken into Downing Street. I nearly died when I saw him in the papers."

She believes the cat, which she acquired as a stray two years ago, ended up in Battersea Cats Home before being given his new job.

Officials were spurred into action after a rat was seen running behind a TV presenter during a broadcast outside Downing Street.


Rethinking airline food

A budget airline has apologised to its Jewish passengers after it offered a choice of either ham melts or bacon baguettes as a meal on its service to Tel Aviv.

A spokesman for easyJet blamed a catering error for providing pork products on the four and a half hours flight from London. The airline had previously said it would offer kosher meals on its service from London. One passenger complained: "I think they need a lesson or two on cultural awareness if they expand their routes into the Middle East. It is not just Jewish passengers who do not eat pork but Muslim ones, too."


Making a clean getaway

Police have tracked down a thief who stole 58 canisters of deodorant by stuffing them down his trousers. Joseph Mingolello was charged with third-degree robbery after detectives identified him from a security videotape at the general store in the US state of Connecticut. Mingolello is reported to have told police he believed he had made a clean getaway.


Presidential pop power

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda is considering releasing a rap album after an earlier performance became a radio hit.

The career move comes after a speech in which he recited two childhood folk chants was later cut with a hip-hop beat by record producers.

President Museveni admits he had never heard of rap music before his chart success, but says that after the upcoming election "you may get quite a big album of the classics".

He added: "I was very happy with the reaction of the youth because that means they are very thirsty for the music of their ancestors."


All in the family

An Indian man has been found living with his 39 wives, 94 children and 33 grandchildren. Ziona Chana, 66, shares a four-storey building with his family in a village in Mizoram on the borders of Myanmar and Bangladesh.

Feeding his family requires about 90kg of rice a day and 60kg of potatoes. Household chores are shared among the women, while men farm and care for livestock.

Mr Chana, who belongs to a polygamous Christian sect, boasted that he once married 10 women in a single year.

He said: "Even today, I am ready to expand my family and willing to go to any extent to marry."