The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Diaper diktat

Buenos Aires (Reuters): Supermarket cashiers in Argentina are being forced to wear diapers to keep them from taking toilet breaks at work, a union says. Female cashiers in western Mendoza province must wear adult diapers in case “cold, nerves, pressure or stress” provoke incontinence, union official Jorge Cordova told local news agency Diarios y Noticias on Thursday. Cordova refused to name the supermarket, but he did say the chain is backed by foreign capital, said Sandra Varela, Mendoza’s labour sub-secretary. “The truth is, it’s difficult to imagine a line of 20 adult cashiers wearing diapers for eight hours,” said Varela, who is investigating the matter. “In 17 years as a labour lawyer, I’ve never heard anything like this before,” she added.

Marten raid

Frankfurt (Reuters): German car engineers, at the forefront of technological innovation, are being outsmarted by small furry animals that damage thousands of cars every year by chewing through wires. Martens, forest-dwelling weasel-like creatures with sharp teeth and bushy tails, scamper into parked vehicles at night. They nibble through ignition cables and cooling hoses, causing thousands of breakdowns a year from short-circuits and overheated engines. “Carmakers can’t do anything, there are no cables in the world that are marten-proof, no chemicals to stop them and anyway, animal protection groups would kick up a fuss,” said a spokesperson for DaimlerChrysler.

Dog defence

London (AP): A judge was forced to forced to bow out of a dangerous dog case after learning his own pet mongrel was appearing for the defence. Justice Barrington Black had been scheduled to preside at the trial of Geraldine Green, 53, whose dog allegedly bit a jogger. She was charged with having a dog “dangerously out of control”. Court officials said yesterday that the judge learned that his dog Vinnie had been filmed frolicking on Hampstead Heath in north London with the defendant’s dog, Zak, and that the video would be offered in evidence. Black told Harrow Crown court in west London that he had to declare a “four-footed interest” and asked for the case to be heard by another judge. Green was subsequently found innocent by a jury.

Off course

Vilnius (Reuters): The Lithuanian Prime Minister strayed into Russian territorial waters off the Kaliningrad enclave on the Baltic Sea coast and had to be rescued by coast guard, a local daily reported on Friday. Lietuvos Rytas newspaper said on its website that Algirdas Brazauskas and his wife were enjoying a high-speed boat ride when the Prime Minister, said to be an experienced sailor, accidentally found himself on the wrong side of the border. The Prime Minister’s office declined to comment. “We have no idea about this incident as he’s on holiday,” a spokesperson said. The newspaper report said the boat was seen crossing the border by both Russian and Lithuanian coast guard. “On a sunny and calm evening, the speedboat steered by the Lithuanian Prime Minister crossed the border marked by buoys and entered Russian territorial waters,” it said. The Lithuanian coast guard rushed to the rescue and Brazauskas sped back to the Lithuanian side.

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