Around the world: hacking the police, banning used knickers

Zimbabwe’s finance minister has zeroed in the country's real problem: used underwear sold at flea markets

Germany: After a top German federal police officer decided to put a spyware program on his daughter’s computer to check her Internet habits, a hacker friend of hers discovered it. He managed to get into the police officer’s computer and then into the police system, bringing down a crucial server last summer, Der Spiegel recently reported. Little brother is watching.

Zimbabwe: People are starving, looting is widespread, and unemployment is as high as 90 per cent, but the country’s finance minister has zeroed in on Zimbabwe’s real problem: used underwear sold at flea markets. Any husband whose wife has been forced to buy second-hand knickers has “failed,” Tendai Biti declared as he issued a ban on the practice.

United States: A California prisoner released fom custody soon found himself back behind bars—for stealing his prison uniform. According to the Los Angeles Times, the man snuck the jumpsuit out, then changed into it when he boarded a bus. Apparently orange grows on some people.

France: What’s that in the water? La Redoute, a mail-order fashion retailer, issued an apology after a beach ad on its website, featuring children modelling its fashions, also revealed a naked man emerging from the sea. (For a closer look, the company also included a magnifying function, intended for people to examine the clothes in detail.) The unidentified nudist has since appeared in takeoffs, including being part of the moon landing and sporting the face of disgraced former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Ireland: And the prize for the cleanest Irish community goes to . . . Trim. The award to the medieval town was given by the organization Irish Business Against Litter, after a survey of 53 towns and cities. Parts of Dublin came under special criticism, prompting an official to lash out at “dramatic media-grabbing statements.”

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