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Royal 'earworm' cure

Like Kylie Minogue's megahit 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head', some tunes are so catchy they can drive you crazy.

But a freely available treatment exists for infuriating 'earworms' which cause distress for one in three people – the British national anthem, 'God Save The Queen' is one of the most popular "cure tunes" used by people to rid themselves of maddening earworms, a study has found.

REGIONAL DEFENCE

An English councillor who swore at a resident during a meeting has blamed his outburst on the fact that he is from Portsmouth.

Richard Denton-White, who sits on Portland Town Council, said: "In Portsmouth, because it's a sub-culture and I think it still exists, people respect each other but if they get disrespect then Portsmouth people are not prepared to walk away from that."

APE PREDICTS WINNER

An ape that has correctly picked the Super Bowl winner for six straight years is predicting the Seattle Seahawks will be the next NFL champions this weekend.

Erica Hansen of Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City says Eli the ape ran into an enclosure yesterday and knocked down a papier-mache helmet bearing the Seahawks logo, signalling his choice. She says there was no hesitation.

PLASTERED PLOUGHMAN

A transport worker in the US faces charges of driving a state snow plough while drunk.

Thomas Keith Henderson of the West Virginia Department of Transportation was arrested by a police officer who stopped the snow plough because the driver's side headlight was out. He smelled alcohol and saw that Henderson's eyes were bloodshot and glassy.

BARRIER REEF MUD ROW

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The government agency that oversees Australia's Great Barrier Reef has approved a controversial plan to dump vast amounts of sediment there as part of a major coal port expansion.

Environmentalists say the move will endanger one of the world's most fragile ecosystems, but the marine authority says strict conditions will be imposed on the operation.

POLICE DOG STABBED

A police dog in Pittsburgh, US, has died after being stabbed by a fugitive.

John Rush (21), one of Allegheny County's most wanted fugitives, stabbed eight-year-old Rocco in the back and wounded two officers before being taken into custody.


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