It's A Mad World

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Deborah Hobson 

 'Loyal donkeys better than nagging wives'

Women in the Indian state of Rajasthan are outraged by the teachings in a Hindi-language textbook which compare housewives to donkeys, suggesting that the docile animals make better companions because they don't complain and are more loyal to their “masters”.

"A donkey is like a housewife ... In fact, the donkey is a shade better, for while the housewife may sometimes complain and walk off to her parents' home, you'll never catch the donkey being disloyal to his master," says the manual.

The state’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party government originally approved the book  but that sparked protests from its women's wing. State education officials in Rajasthan  said people should not be upset by the comparison. Government spokesman A.R Khan said: “The comparison was made in good humour, however, protests have been taken note of and the board is in the process of removing the offending passage from the book.”

 US Town’s Crazed Cat Terror

Residents of Fairfield, a small town in the east coast state of Connecticut,  say they have been terrorised  by a vicious six-toed cat called Lewis.

Janet Ketterman, a  resident of Sunset Circle neighbourhood, where the prowling pet cat caused havoc, said: “He looks like Felix the Cat and has six toes on each foot, each with a long claw.” She added: “They are formidable weapons.” Neighbours said that Lewis’s claws along with catlike stealth, have enabled him to attack at least six people. He even flung himself on a visiting Avon lady.

Some of those who were bitten or scratched had to seek hospital treatment. Rachel Solveira, the small town's animal control officer, placed a 'restraining order' on Lewis, which means he is now under house arrest; forbidden to leave his home at any time. Solveira also arrested  the moggie’s owner, Ruth Cisero, charging her with failing to comply with the order and 'reckless endangerment'.

Refs Told To 'Take Bribes But Be Fair'

Football referees in Nigeria can take cash back handers from clubs but should not allow the illicit payments to influence their decisions on the pitch, a national  official of the sport said recently.

Fanny Amun, acting Secretary-General of the Nigerian Football Association, told Reuters news agency that bribery was common in the Nigerian game. "We know match officials are offered money or anything else to influence matches and they can accept it. But referees should only pretend to fall for the bait, but make sure the result doesn't favour those offering the bribe."

Amun first made the statement  to a football seminar in the capital, Abuja, prompting protests from other officials who said the off the cuff comments brought the game into disrepute. But Nigerian football league chairman Oyuiki Obaseki widened the controversy when he reprimanded referees for poor quality match reports, saying that bribery was to blame. He said: "The quality of your reports have not done our league any good, so please desist from corrupt practices."