Odd stories

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A round-up of weird stories from around the world


Stewie, the longest domestic cat in the world at more than 4ft (1.2m) from nose to tail, has died.

He was surrounded by family when he succumbed to a year-long battle with cancer at his Nevada home, owner Robin Hendrickson said. He was eight years old.

Guinness World Records declared Stewie the record-holder in August 2010, measuring 48.5in (123.2cm) from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail.


The Monopoly iron token is to be relegated to history and replaced with a cat after an international vote by fans.

Maker Hasbro said the cat received 31% of a Facebook vote, trumping the robot, guitar, helicopter and diamond ring.

The iron took just 8% of the vote after it ran neck and neck for elimination with the wheelbarrow and boot, meaning production of the token will cease. It will be the first time that fans have had a say on which token to add and which to replace. The other tokens remain the racing car, Scottie dog, thimble, top hat and battleship.


British women want men with practical skills more than any other attribute, according to new research in anticipation of Valentine’s Day.

Women are turning away from roses and romantic meals and want to get jobs done around the house instead, the survey of 1,000 females suggested.

Of the women surveyed by Spaceslide.co.uk, an online store for made-to-measure wardrobe storage, 38% said they found men who were practical around the home sexy, rating DIY skills above sporting prowess, creativity and even love-making ability.


Paintings which gave the British public its first glimpse of a kangaroo and dingo could stay in the country after the Government introduced a temporary export bar.

Potential buyers need to find £5.5 million to keep the two George Stubbs oil paintings, The Kongouro From New Holland (The Kangaroo) and Portrait of a Large Dog (The Dingo), in Britain.

The works, first shown in 1773 at the Royal Academy, are thought to have been commissioned by Sir Joseph Banks following his part in Captain James Cook’s first voyage of discovery to the Pacific. The temporary export bar was announced by Culture Minister Ed Vaizey, and remains in place until August 5. It can be extended until November 5.


Canada has begun phasing out its penny, whose production costs have come to exceed its monetary value.

The Royal Canadian Mint has officially ended its distribution of one-cent coins to financial institutions.

The government has said the coins, which feature two maple leaves and Queen Elizabeth II in profile, would remain legal tender until they eventually disappeared from circulation.


Two Chinese officials have been arrested for accidentally killing a 13-month-old boy during an argument with his parents over a fine for violating strict family planning limits.

The accident set off an angry confrontation between officials and residents of a village outside the eastern city of Rui’an.

The officials demanded a fine of at least 30,000 yuan (£3,000) for having the boy, the couple’s third child, which broke the rules. They dropped the boy during a tussle and he was run over.