Douglas Alexander To Visit Pen Pal

IN his first official act as Secretary of State for International Development, Douglas Alexander is to spend the summer with his pen pal in Bulgaria.

Leaving next Monday, Alexander will spend eight weeks with the family of 16 year-old Todor Vonkovich, who lives in the town of Smolyan about 50 miles south of Plovdiv.

Alexander said: "It's such a great thing to do before I go to university in September.

"Todor and I have a lot in common. We're both huge fans of Bono, we both love Time Team and we're both 10th level wizards, although I have considerably more realm points than he does."

He added: "I hope to learn much of Todor's culture. Perhaps I'll start a 'Friends of Bulgaria' society at Edinburgh University. It's important to demonstrate a wide range of interests on one's CV."

Vonkovich is a typical Bulgarian youth. After buying himself out of the army he set about avenging the deaths of his ancestors.

His hobbies include football, chess and running the biggest zinc refinery in central Europe.

Vonkovich said: "I have told Mr Douglas to bring lots of credit cards and enough cash to buy a big van."

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Apple Forced To Recall iPhone After Toaster Fault

APPLE has been forced into an embarrassing recall of the entire first batch of its long awaited iPhone after users reported problems with its on-board toaster. 

Carl Knutz, an early adopter of San Andreas, California, said his two-slot iPhone produced one raw slice of toast and one that was burnt to a cinder and inedible.

He said the problem was particularly frustrating as the iPhone’s built-in roasting oven and low fat grill “worked a treat”.

Mr Knutz said: “I was sold the iPhone as the perfect solution for satisfying all my breakfast time needs. I could read emails, surf the web, grill some bacon and do toast all at the same time with the one gadget. Well I can’t, the toast is rubbish.”

Despite the toaster glitch most users are reporting themselves delighted with the iPhone. Bobby Killitz, 23, a glasses wearer, also of San Andreas, said he had cooked an entire chicken dinner in his phone, and it had emailed him to tell him when it was ready.

Danny Kravitz, 25, the brother of a musician, said his phone had babysat his 11-month old daughter while he went to a bar and did not email him when she started crying as it knew it was nothing serious.

Even so Apple user forums are buzzing with complaints about the quality of iPhone toast and the company’s boffins are said to be working around the clock to sort the problem.

Steve Jobs has put up a personal video message on the Apple website apologising for the toaster glitch but reassuring users that it is a software issue that will be sorted soon.

Mr Jobs said: “We updated the iPhone software after all our laptops overheated and blew up but that appears to have affected the element in the toaster. Or it maybe it just needs a new washer.”

Meanwhile it has emerged that all the first batch of iPhones have also been built without any microphones being installed. This was not discovered until all of them had been sent to the shops as no one had thought to use one to make a call.