American buys New Zealand

A wealthy American has bought land in New Zealand. Exactly how much land is undisclosed but documents suggest that he's bought all of it.

Peter Thiel transferred the money via PayPal, the company he founded, and is thinking of renaming the country he now owns.

"It's a legitimate transaction and there's absolutely nothing anyone should be worried about," said interim Prime Minister Bill English.

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"Peter has New Zealand residency and so really all we're doing is selling to one of our own."

The interim Prime Minister said he couldn't remember the date when Thiel's residency was approved, but remembered the place.

"I was there when my predecessor met him at Auckland international airport, got down on his hands and knees, and had Peter sign citizenship papers on his back.

"We all shook hands afterwards and made arrangements to have a beer sometime."

Mr English said he was still waiting for the beer.

"As for the renaming of New Zealand to PayPal, it's an inspired idea and I don't foresee any problems with it. PayPal has more brand recognition than New Zealand, and will attract more visitors.

"Already we're seeing a rise in other wealthy Americans coming here to rent land off Peter to build luxury underground bunkers in case of nuclear fall-out and other catastrophes.

"It's an honour that they've chosen New Zealand as their destination for end days."

An aide approached the interim Prime Minister and had a word in his ear. Mr English nodded, and said to reporters: "I mean PayPal. It's an honour that wealthy Americans have chosen to act out their survivalist fantasies in the proud nation of PayPal."

Woman tears face off in public
A woman has scratched her eyes out during a public ceremony in Washington.

The bizarre incident occurred after she was seen smiling at her husband, who had turned to talk to her.

When he turned away, the woman tore at her face with her bare hands, until her eyes were disgorged from their sockets. She then slumped to the ground, sobbing and screaming.

Onlookers said she sobbed and screamed in five different languages. Translated, the gist of her anguish was, "I no longer have the will to live. The world is going to feel the same way pretty soon. You'll see! You'll all see! You fools! You fools! You fools!"

The woman's husband said his wife was just feeling a bit tired.

The incident took place in front of the White House. A White House spokesperson told reporters, "We didn't notice anything strange. Perhaps reporters should have noticed what she was wearing, because it was nothing short of stunning.

"She wore a pale blue cashmere ensemble by Ralph Lauren. It features a short, double-faced jacket with bold collar cutaway and three-quarter-length sleeves over a matching lean mock-turtle dress. The silhouette has a vaguely 1960s vibe, triggering comparisons to Jackie Kennedy, whom she resembles in many ways. Both women have two legs."

The White House refused to comment on reports that the woman put her eyes in a Tiffany box and presented it to Michelle Obama.

January cancelled
January has been blamed for the bad weather.

"I'm sick of January. We're all sick of January. You've just got to look at the storm damage to St Clair Beach. It's January's fault," said Gareth Morgan of the Opportunities Party.

"I'm sick of Gareth Morgan, but I'm not best pleased by January, either," said Winston Peters of New Zealand First.

Interim Prime Minister Bill English said he was in talks to cancel January.

"I've asked Peter Thiel if he wouldn't mind banishing January from the calendar," he said.

"He's got the power and the influence to do it, so it's just a question of whether he has the time.

"He's told me that he'll have me over for a beer so we can talk it through."

Mr English said he was still waiting for the beer.