Tuesday, January 01, 2002

One New Year’s tradition good for me is the release of British cabinet papers under the 30-rule year. Which means that today Edward Heath was having to defend internment without trial, not today’s but that in Northern Ireland in 1971, which was singularly stupid and incompetent and, as it turns out, was warned against by the military.

But if that was short-sighted, it was as nothing beside the report of the High Commissioner in Uganda, who said that he thought Idi Amin would turn out just fine.

The city of Bradford is spending a fortune upgrading some of its bus stops. There will be art and literature in electronic form, and music chosen according to the color of your clothes. It will still smell of urine, of course.

Speaking of urine, the Guardian sent its European reporters out to see what they could buy with a euro. Most of them were looking for hangover cures, but settled for buying more booze. The toilet at the Gare du Nord (where I think I once peed myself), has upped its prices from 6 francs to 1 euro (6.5 francs), but in Berlin you can use the city toilette for 40 minutes (don’t ask, it’s a German thing) for 1/2 a euro. Paris cathedrals also raised the price of lighting a candle from 10 francs to 2 euros.

Speaking of being screwed by euros, there are some bank robbers in German prisons, who got away with about $5 million in 1995 but were caught. The 1st one will be released in 2003, but it’s all in marks.

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