Christmas

Here, to mark the start of the Christmas week, are 12 of our "And finally" news stories from the Monday Briefing in 2020. The Monday Briefing is taking a break until Monday, 4 January. In the meantime, the Deloitte Economics team wishes you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge and the University of Minnesota fitted cuttlefish with 3D glasses and treated them to a screening of a 3D film of their favoured prey – shrimp. The marine molluscs were placed in the sub-aquatic cinema to better understand how they are able to use their eyes to perceive the distance to their targets while hunting – the prawn identity

The music-streaming service Spotify has announced it will launch curated playlists for dogs to listen to while their owners are not home after finding one in four pet owners play music for their pets when they are out of the house – The B-eagles

A zoo in San Antonio, Texas came up with a novel business idea for Valentine’s Day. In exchange for $25 they offered people the chance to name a rat after one of their ex-partners. They then fed the unfortunate rats to a group of hungry Komodo dragons live on Facebook – a dragon-ian punishment

China is considering deploying 100,000 ducks to neighbouring Pakistan to combat swarms of locusts which have caused significant damage across East Africa and the Middle East. One duck is reportedly able to eat more than 200 locusts every day – swarm enemies

A pig had a narrow escape after it swallowed the pedometer it was wearing to prove it was free-range. The battery in the pedometer reacted with the pig’s muck and started a fire in the dry bedding. Fire crews were called and luckily no animals or humans were harmed – saving the bacon

An attempted armed robbery of a convenience store in Birmingham was foiled after the shopkeeper threw a handful of hot chilli powder over the would-be thief, causing the knife-wielding robber to flee the scene – a site for sore eyes

A flock of wild Kashmiri goats has been spotted wandering the streets of Welsh seaside town Llandudno, taking advantage of the quiet conditions and providing entertainment for residents staying home – the kids are alright

Taiwan started its baseball season despite spectators being banned from attending games due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Taoyuan International baseball stadium placed mannequins and cardboard cut-outs of fans in spectator seats instead – tough crowd

An aquarium in Tokyo saw a huge response after asking people to video call its eels. They were concerned that their eels were becoming shy from a lack of visitors during the lockdown, and that this shyness would prevent them monitoring the eels’ health. Over one million video callers responded to the request – a public app-eel

A drug test which relies on analysis of hair samples was abandoned after two randomly selected Northern Ireland police officers reported for duty with every hair shaved from their body. According to the Belfast Telegraph, the officers remain with the service – buzz cuts for fuzz klutz

A Ukrainian official drew criticism after stating that mice had eaten $30m of grain in the state’s official reserves. After it was pointed out it would take as many as a billion mice to eat so much grain the official clarified his comment by saying that he had sought to draw attention to corruption – cereal offender

A 74-year-old Egyptian man has been recognised as the world’s oldest professional footballer. The septuagenarian entered the record books as he appeared for his team in the third tier of Egyptian football, reportedly enthusiastically cheered on by his family and grandchildren – geri-hat-trick