'Ginger rodent' slur is small beer
DANNY Alexander MP has celebrated the launch of Ginger Rodent beer, which shares the moniker fired at him as an insult by a Labour opponent.
The UK chief treasury secretary attended the launch by Cairngorm Brewery in Aviemore. Harriet Harman, deputy Labour leader, branded Mr Alexander "a ginger rodent" in a speech in 2010, and was later forced to apologise.
Veil-clad prison visitors checked
INDONESIAN police are tightening security checks on burka-clad visitors at prisons in the capital Jakarta after a convicted terrorist apparently escaped under the Islamic veil.
Roki Aprisdianto (29), sentenced to six years behind bars in 2011, managed to escape from a detention centre -- home to 70 terrorist inmates -- when 23 burka-clad women came to visit their husbands.
Minister seeks geniuses as aides
MACEDONIA'S health minister is looking for assistants -- but they have to be certified geniuses.
Nikola Todorov's ministry needs seven to 10 advisors, but successful candidates must possess an IQ score of at least 140, certified by Mensa. People with scores above 140 are considered geniuses.
Lanterns pose air travel hazard
A NEW hazard is hitting air passengers in northern Thailand -- a lantern festival.
Thai Airways International is suspending some flights as a precaution to avoid floating lanterns from being sucked into aircraft engines as people release them during the annual Loy Krathong festival.
Branagh receives knighthood
HOLLYWOOD star Kenneth Branagh (51) said he was excited and honoured to receive a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth, for services to drama and the community of Northern Ireland.
Belfast-born Branagh first met the queen when she saw him play Hamlet -- now one of his trademark roles -- as a 19-year-old student at RADA in 1980.
Thrifty buyers give it (bed) socks
CASH-strapped consumers in austerity Britain trying to hold down rising heating bills are rushing out to buy socks designed to be worn in bed, according to UK manufacturer HJ Hall.
The company said it would normally sell around 3,000 pairs of bed socks a month between October and February, but this October sold more than 9,000 pairs.