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Butt of jokes

Rome, March 15 (Reuters): The mother-in-law from hell is the butt of jokes and comedies the world over. In Italy, she is officially a cause for divorce.

The country’s highest appeals court on Thursday upheld a ruling that granted a woman from Vasto in southern Italy divorce on the grounds of “excessive and inappropriate interference of the husband’s parents in the private life of the couple.”

“My husband was his mother’s slave. He would hang on her every word while she criticised everything about me, my make-up, my diet, the way I was bringing up my daughter,” the woman told the court.

The woman was awarded custody of her daughter and a generous alimony to compensate her for not being allowed to work after she was married. The ex-husband has returned to live with his mother.

Hell phone

Nairobi (Reuters): Three Kenyans died trying to retrieve a mobile phone that slipped down an open-pit latrine while its owner answered a call of nature, a newspaper reported on Friday. Anxious to recover her phone, the owner in the coastal town of Mombasa offered $13.09 to anyone who would recover it, the Daily Nation said. Well over half the Kenyan population of 30 million people lives on less than $1 a day. The first to try — a 30-year-old radio technician — failed to resurface after disappearing down a ladder into the latrine. His friend went after him but slipped and fell. The third casualty, trying to rescue the others, was hauled out of the pit by neighbours after he inhaled the fumes and lost consciousness.

Leafy drag

Des Moines, Iowa (Reuters): An Iowa college president caught smoking marijuana with six-dozen plants growing in his basement and packages of the leafy drug spread around his affluent home faced drug charges on Thursday. David England, 50, the president of Des Moines Area Community College, was accused of possession of drug paraphernalia, police said.


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