Scientists posit weather-to-waistline link

Plus an Italian village where people are banned from dying, the world's ugliest dog passes away and more offbeat stories from the week of New You Can Lose.

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Growing levels of carbon dioxide are making people fatter, according to research from Denmark.

The theory claims that the greenhouse gas stimulates hormones in the brain and changes our metabolism.

Lars-Georg Hersoug, a scientist at Glostrup University Hospital, says his theory explains why even thin people are getting fatter.

He claims that other data show that the fattest Americans live on the East Coast, which also has the highest concentrations of carbon dioxide.

Land of the living

Residents of a small village in Italy have been banned from dying.

Mayor Giulio Cesare Fava issued a decree earlier this month making it illegal to die in Falciano del Massico, about 50 kilometres from Naples.

The new ordinance is the result of a disagreement over the use of the only cemetery, which is located in a nearby town.

Mayor Fava said that since making the rule "unfortunately, two elderly citizens disobeyed".

Eau de Rome

Pope Benedict has commissioned his own eau de cologne.

The unique fragrance, which is for the pope's own use, is said to incorporate hints of lime tree, verbena and grass.

It was created by Silvana Casoli, an Italian perfume maker who has previously designed fragrances for Sting and Madonna.

Ms Casoli said the pope would be the only person allowed to order the cologne.

"I would not ever repeat the same perfume for another customer," she said.

Tasteless wireless

A marketing company has come under fire for using the homeless as mobile Wi-Fi internet towers.

The volunteers were recruited from a homeless shelter, equipped with Wi-Fi devices and told to wander around a technology conference in Austin, Texas while wearing a T-shirt advertising "I'm ... a 4G hotspot".

One commentator called the project "something out of a darkly satirical science-fiction dystopia".

Each participant was paid US$20 (Dh73) a day plus tips. Clarence Jones, 54, who lost his home in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, told The New York Times: "Everyone thinks I'm getting the rough end of the stick, but I don't feel that. I love talking to people and it's a job. An honest day of work and pay."

Gone but unforgettable

Yoda, the world's ugliest dog, has died in her sleep.

The Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix was 15 years old and won the title last June.

Her owner, Terry Schumacher, adopted Yoda after finding her abandoned behind a block of flats and initially thought she was a rat.

The title brought Yoda several TV appearances. Ms Schumacher, from California, said that although Yoda had bulging eyes, a sticking- out tongue and hairless legs, she would miss "her funny little ways".