31 August 2007: The grass is greener on the inside

Inmates at Japan's Abashiri Prison have something to look out for in their new prison exercise yard. There are marijuana shoots sprouting there.

Prison officials think soil brought in to make the exercise yard already contained marijuana seeds. So far they don't think prisoners have actually been cultivating the plants.

The prison does have a vegetable patch but, when questioned, the prison governor said, "We only grow potatoes and beans here."

30 August 2007: Russians in the dark

The Russian garrison at an air base in Kyrgyzstan has been left in the dark. Their electricity has been cut off because the bill hasn't been paid.

The local electricity company said the barracks, which house 300 servicemen, have been cut off, but added that the air strip lights had not been affected.

The Russian military has now promised that the unpaid bill, amounting to over £6,000, will be paid by the end of the week.

29 August 2007: 'Cat Burglars' Escape from Bank

Heavily-armed Philippines police surrounded a bank in Manila for several hours after its alarm went off, but the intruders escaped.

The Special Weapons and Tactics unit rushed to the bank and made sure no one could leave the bank except through the front door.

The police then entered the building, but failed to stop a stray cat slipping through the door to escape. Another cat fled through a small hole in the ceiling.

Nothing was missing from the bank and there was no sign of forced entry so police concluded that the intruder cats had set off the alarms.

The bank manager later admitted that he noticed the hole in the roof but did not do anything about it because the hole was too small for a person.

28 August 2007: Seizing the bull by the ...

The mayor of a South African town is proposing that the municipality changes its name, because he gets embarrassed about the existing one.

The area is known as "eThekwini" which, according to local belief, means a bull's testicle, allegedly referring to the shape of the costal area's bay.

Red-faced at explaining the name to visitors, a the mayor is now pushing for the area's name to be changed to the Zulu word for 'Watch Out'.

24 August 2007: Family Planning

A man in the United Arab Emirates has said that he aims to father 100 children by 2015.

The man is already well on his way to his target. He currently has 78 children by 15 different women, 12 of whom he has now divorced because Muslim law limits a man to four wives.

Asked about his plans he said: "In 2015, I will be 68 years old and will have 100 children. After that, I will stop marrying."

SaintFM is impressed with his achievement so far, but wonders if he can keep it up.

23 August 2007: The village formerly known as ...

Residents of a small village in southern China thought changing the village's name would improve their fortunes.

Unfortunately the lucky name they chose includes a very rare Chinese character, which is where the problems began. Police computers are unable to register the new name because they do not recognise the character.

Even the regional newspaper had problems reporting the story because its computers also did not print the character. The newspaper was forced to describe it rather than printing it.

22 August 2007: Elementary my dear Madison

A school in Utah changed its name in May, to honour a former US president. Everyone was happy until a new teacher arrived last week.

The new history teacher pointed out to the board at James A Madison Elementary School that the ex-president did not have a middle initial.

One board member at the now to be renamed again School said "I hate being embarrassed."

20 August 2007: Policeman on the job

A British police officer, who had sex while on duty, has been acquitted in court, after the jury heard that he had remained able to respond to emergencies.

In his defence he stated that he had continued to wear his police radio throughout the encounter.

"If there was a call for me, I would have answered it and I would have dealt with it," he told the court.

The jury accepted his defence and unanimously acquitted him.

He may, however, still face police force disciplinary action.

17 August 2007: POETS cost 50 million pounds a year

Businesses in the UK say they are losing more than 50 million pounds a year because of POETS; employees leaving work early on Friday.

The top excuses for starting the weekend early are a long lunch on Friday, a doctor's appointment and an out-of-office meeting near to home.

The research team commented "Our evidence suggests that more and more workers are seeing Friday afternoon as an unofficial holiday."

Motoring organisations support the findings, reporting that on Fridays the rush hour now starts around noon.

By the way, POETS stands for "Go Home Early, Tomorrow's Saturday" (or something like that)

16 August 2007: You wait till we get home!

When US Sheriff's deputy Mike Moore suspected one of his colleagues of drink driving he did his duty, stopping the suspected offender and demanding a breath test.

And when the colleague refused and drove off, he didn't give up. He called for backup and pursued the driver to insist on the test.

His commitment to his job is confirmed by the fact that he was prepared to risk bad feeling at work, and also trouble at home. The colleague in question is his own wife.

SaintFM hopes deputy Moore's dog has a large and comfortable kennel.

15 August 2007: How does your garden grow?

A Polish woman returned from holiday to find something new had been planted in her garden.

Sadly for the woman, it was not a rose bush, or a new lawn, but a new road.

A government spokesman wasn't sympathetic, saying: "It's not a busy road. She can still get to the back of her garden quite easily."

14 August 2007: An Excessive 'Phone Bill

A man who paid 27 pence more than he expected for a 'phone call has filed fraud charges, according to his local police.

The man was listening to his local radio station in Germany, and thought he knew the answer to the phone-in quiz. So he went to a pay phone and made what he thought would be a 50-cent call.

He was angered when the cost came to 90 cents, and even more incensed because the phone-in show admitted that the question was actually a riddle with no answer.

The man did not see the joke, and went to a police station at 3 a.m. to file charges. Police and state prosecutors are now investigating whether he has a case.

13 August 2007: Cowboy Boots Banned

Country and western fans are having a hard time. On Friday we featured a Dolly Parton fan who was silenced for playing her records too loud. Now a police force in Florida has banned officers from wearing cowboy boots after the footwear was blamed for an accident.

An officer who was wearing cowboy boots while driving crashed his car into a shop.

Police knew the man normally to be a good driver so investigated the crash closely, and concluded the boots were to blame for causing his foot to slip off the brake. Now officers have to wear 'normal' shoes while driving.

10 August 2007: No more 9 to 5

A British country and western fan has been served with a noise ban after her passion for Dolly Parton songs upset her neighbours.

According to Leeds City Council, Diane Duffin bombarded her neighbours in Leeds with repeated loud performances of Parton's songs such as '9 to 5', and also subjected them to other noisy disturbances and anti-social behaviour.

As a result council and police officers have confiscated from Ms Duffin's property TVs, DVD players, a computer, games consoles, and a number of compact discs.

9 August 2007: A Flying Crocodile

Residents in one Russian apartment block have to look out for an unusual danger - a flying crocodile.

The crocodile in question lives with his owner on the 12th Floor of the block, but would clearly prefer to be free. So when he gets the chance, he dives out of the window.

At his third escape attempt, this week, he lost a tooth but was otherwise unscathed. His owner collected him from the emergency services a few hours afterwards, and the crocodile was last seen heading home on the back seat of his owner's car.

His neighbours are now hoping the owner remembers to keep the window shut.

8 August 2007: Hot Men and Women

The residents of one of the world's coldest countries are also invincible when it comes to heat, it seems. Finnish competitors won in both male and female events in this year's world sauna-sitting championships.

The male winner took the championship for the third year in a row, staying in a sauna heated to 110 degrees Celsius (230 Fahrenheit) for 12 minutes and 26 seconds. The women's event winner endured the same incredible heat for 10 minutes and 31 seconds, almost two minutes better than her closest rival, another Finn.

Other competitors came from Russia, America, Germany and Turkey.

Sauna-sitting is one of number of bizarre Finnish championships including wife-carrying and cell phone throwing.

7 August 2007: Grounded!

A Sicilian mother took her son's house keys off him and stopped his pocket money after he came home late one time too many.

The woman then dragged her son to the local police station, and asked the police to "convince this blockhead to behave properly".

"My son does not respect me," she said. "He doesn't tell me where he's going in the evenings and returns home late. He is never happy with the food I make and always complains. This can't go on."

The police declined to take action. Her son is 61 years old.

6 August 2007: Roos Reprieved

The Australian city of Canberra has been invaded by kangaroos, seeking water following a 10-year drought. On two drought-ravaged military bases they are causing serious erosion due to over-grazing, and endangering a species of local lizard and the threatened gold sun moth, so the Australian military came up with a typical military solution - shoot them.

However, following a public outcry, the roos are now to be reprieved. They are to be rounded up, tranquilised, and shipped to a village an hour away, using air-conditioned containers, at a cost of over three-thousand Australian dollars per kangaroo.

The cost of moving each animal is more than a standard economy class return air ticket from Sydney to London.

SaintFM thinks it would have been cheaper to just tell the creatures to hop it.

3 August 2007: Scary Skates Stopped

Bournemouth has been rescued from a deadly menace by the actions of its Trading Standard Officers.

Following a tip-off they impounded a shipment of petrol-powered roller skates.

The skates would have been capable of propelling someone at 20mph, but were without brakes so had no way of stopping. Furthermore, the engines were of poor quality and could easily have exploded in use.

Fifty pairs of the the deadly skates were on their way from a supplier in China to an address in Bournemouth when Trading Standards pounced.

1 August 2007: Being Cool at School

There was a time when wearing sunglasses would have been seen as too cool for school, but no longer.

At Sydney's Arncliffe Public School, "Sunnies", as they are called in Australia, are already compulsory in the playground.

The move is aimed at protecting young eyes from the sun's dangerous ultraviolet rays, and Australian education authorities say they are considering adopting the plan at all state schools.

Experts say that exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays, already blamed for skin cancers, can also lead to cataracts, and advise that wraparound sunglasses are the best for eye protection for children from age three upwards.