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'Give us a break Mr Facebook'

The Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has been challenged to shut down the social-networking website for one day a year to encourage people to have face-to-face interactions.

The idea was proposed after Mr Zuckerberg appealed for suggestions for his New Year challenge - an annual fixture in the Facebook calendar. One user, Anthony Fergusson, was among several who proposed a temporary shut-down "to encourage people to talk to a new person in real life who they have never spoken with before".

Tot locks mum in cupboard

A mother had to be rescued by fire crews after being locked in a cupboard - by her one-year-old toddler.

Police asked Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service to attend the woman's home after she managed to alert her next door neighbours. "Crews used small tools and a triple extension ladder to gain access and release the adult from the cupboard," a fire spokesman said.

Palin's son uses dog as a step

Facebook photos posted by Sarah Palin showing her son Trig using the family dog as a step stool unleashed online fury yesterday reminiscent of the public reaction to the disclosure that Mitt Romney had once driven with his dog strapped on the car's roof.

Trig (6), who has Down Syndrome, is shown stepping on the back of the family's black Labrador while it lies on the kitchen floor in order to reach the sink. The dog appears unruffled. The Facebook post by Palin, who was the Republican vice presidential nominee in 2008, drew comments ranging from cries of animal abuse to those seconding Palin's praise for Trig.

Actor's school is fit for a king

Actor Damian Lewis says his elite upbringing, attending a leading public school, helped to prepare him for his portrayal of a king in Wolf Hall.

The 43-year-old star of Homeland and Band of Brothers, who plays Henry VIII in the forthcoming BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel's Man Booker Prize-winning historical novel, said his background has given him an insight into structure and social circles of royalty.