Paper Round

Paper Round found no shortage of material in the land of plenty this week. As petrol prices in the US approach the giddy heights of $4 a gallon (44p a litre), a religious group in Michigan has set up a petrol kitchen for the poor. According to the Kalamazoo Gazette, any American earning less than $21,000 (£10,500) a year can dip his ladle into the apparently bottomless well of 'gas' provided by the Free Gas USA programme and fulfil his divine right to drive 50 miles to his favourite hamburger joint in a six-litre truck. "We're perpetual," said the programme's leader - whom Paper Round can't help thinking has had a few tips from Him Upstairs about turning water into more marketable commodities. "As long as there's a need, we'll be here, the Lord willing."

The Lord, alas, was not willing to catch a fallen member of His flock in Tennessee. reported that a churchgoer is suing Lakewind Church in Knoxville after he fell and cracked his noggin amid a heady dalliance with the Holy Spirit.

"I was just asking God," he explained. "I wanted to have a real experience. It's like you faint." He said pastors should have made sure someone caught him - and a year of pain later he's had enough. "There's no amount of money that can compensate for what's happened to me," he said - but he reckons $2.5m (£1.3m) wouldn't go amiss.

If the whiff of spirits of a less holy nature hang over that tale, that's nothing compared with the reek of marijuana that police dogs detected in home-made biscuits delivered to a police station in Texas.

Metro reported that a youth who baked the cosmic cookies on behalf of Mothers Against Drunk Driving was arrested after tests also indicated the presence of LSD in the biscuits. He later admitted a friend "might" have been smoking pot while he was baking.

He said it

'Hugely expensive, confusing the public and not helping improve standards'

Brendan Gormley, chief executive of the Disasters Emergency Committee, on DEC evaluation reports, which are being dropped, in the Financial Times.

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