Funny old world: The week's offbeat news
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From lesbian polar bears to a very lucky two-headed tortoise. Your weekly roundup of offbeat stories from around the world.
- Peppa gets woke -
Peppa Pig is at it again. Having stirred up a hornet's nest by continually fat shaming Daddy Pig for being a bit porky, the much-loved children's show has introduced its first gay characters, a couple of lesbian polar bears.
A new episode called "Families" has Penny Polar Bear telling Peppa about her two mothers, "One mummy is a doctor and one mummy cooks spaghetti... I love spaghetti."
This could open the door to fathers -- long stigmatised by Peppa's eternal catchphrase, "Silly Daddy" -- demanding a reassessment of Daddy Pig, forever portrayed as being lazy, forgetful and a bit useless.
Even Peppa fans like former British leader Boris Johnson -- who could never be accused of such failings -- have been troubled by the show's anti-boar bias. He once complained during a famously shambolic speech that it was "a bit stereotypical" about papa pigs.
- Trussed by Twitter -
Johnson's successor, Liz Truss, found herself being compared to another children's television character -- and not in a nice way -- by the angry wife of a minister she sacked.
Felicity Cornelius-Mercer, who is married to the former veterans minister Johnny Mercer, lambasted Truss for the "appalling" way she had treated her husband.
She tweeted a meme of the new PM as disaster-prone muppet Beaker, with the zinger, "Best person I know sacked by an imbecile."
Meanwhile, the great and good tipping their hats to the new PM on Twitter found themselves congratulating a Londoner called Liz Trussell who holds the handle @Liztruss.
Sweden's Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson was one of several who made the slip, tweeting, "Sweden and Great Britain will continue our deep and extensive cooperation."
"Looking forward to a visit soon!" Trussell replied. "Get the meatballs ready."
Wise-cracking Trussell has handled her new-found fame with some aplomb, tweeting she was off to Ikea "to pick up a new Cabinet".
- Back from the dead -
A 102-year-old Indian man hired a brass band and turned up at a government office in a horse-drawn carriage to prove to officials that he was still alive.
Duli Chand's pension was stopped because authorities did not believe he was still of this world and all efforts to prove otherwise had failed.
"My old-age pension was stopped in March as the government records show that I am dead," Chand said.
"I've since been trying in vain to prove that I am still alive."
Dressed in colourful wedding garb, he declared, "I'm alive!" to cheers from the crowd when he reached the offices.
- Two heads are better...? -
Life is no bed of lettuce either when you are a two-headed tortoise.
Just ask Janus, the world's oldest, who celebrated her 25th birthday at Geneva's natural history museum, where she is one of the most unusual attractions.
Named after the two-faced Roman god, Janus also has two hearts, two stomachs and four lungs.
She would not have survived long in the wild, director Arnaud Maeder said as Janus munched on edible flowers for the occasion.
Unable to pull her two heads back into her shell, she would have been easy prey for predators.