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Funny old world: The week's offbeat news

From the perfect semi-automatic rifle for a five-year-old to what film stars really think... Your weekly roundup of offbeat stories from around the world.

- No peasants please -

Shame on the film producers who have been trying to portray Hollywood actress Eva Green as a "diva" as they try to wriggle out of paying her $1 million for a sci-fi movie that was never made.

A London court heard that "The Dreamers" and "Casino Royale" star described one of the producers as "pure vomit" and the other as a "devious psychopath" in texts.

Her lawyers did concede, however, that French-born Green's language may have been a tad "unguarded" as she complained that she would be "obliged to take shitty peasant crew members from Hampshire."

- Talking crepe -

A crepe restaurant in Brittany, the home of the delicious French pancakes, is being taken to court by a neighbour because it "smells of crepes".

The case has prompted comparisons with the notorious case of Maurice the French cockerel, whose owners were sued by their new townie neighbours because it crowed in the mornings.

Some 35,000 locals have signed a petition in support of the creperie in the seaside village of Erquy, but their neighbour still insists they close at seven at night.

- Let there be light -

A US high school has not been able to turn off its lights for a year and a half because of a computer glitch.

The 7,000 lights at the Minnechaug Regional High School in Massachusetts have been blazing day and night with teachers forced to remove bulbs to try to reduce the mounting electricity bill.

The first-world nightmare caught the attention of the satirical "Saturday Night Live" television show, which joked, "The students are doing fine but the classroom hamster has gone insane."

- Put your bike in the canal -

Amsterdam believes it may be about to crack its chronic bicycle parking problem by putting bikes in the canals.

It has just opened the first of two giant underwater bike parks that can accommodate 7,000 cycles.

Conveyor belts take cyclists nine metres (30 feet) down into what space architects compared to an "imaginary oyster". Thankfully cyclists don't have to swim back up.

- Guns for kids -

But our bright idea of the week award goes to the American gun maker Wee1 Tactical which has come up with a semi-automatic rifle for children.

The military-style JR-15 can fire off 10 rounds as quickly as you can say "Die teacher" and comes after another week of mass shootings and with a Virginia teacher in hospital after being shot by a six-year-old.

"What are we coming to?" asked Democrat Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who called for the "despicable" campaign to be banned.

"The law says you shouldn't be marketing guns to kids," he said. "With the epidemic of youth gun violence and mass shootings, an idea like this... should just not see the light of day." — AFP

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