World's Most Expensive Pizza Is Covered in Snails and Gold

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Mmm … unnecessary.

Finally, a pizza for people who feel the need to eat boozy snails sprinkled with precious metals and have money to burn.

A chef in Scotland says he's created what he believes is the world's most expensive pizza pie, and he plans to sell it on eBay for around $4,000.

Domenico Crolla's "Pizza Royale 007" features champagne-soaked caviar and lobster marinated in high-end cognac, and is topped with 24-carat gold shavings, the AFP reports.

So why a pizza named for everyone's favorite high-rolling spy?

"If any pizza was made to suit 007, this is it. Everyone loves a pizza as a treat, and this should be a real luxury experience," he added.

Crolla's costly concoction also boasts sunblush tomato sauce, Scottish smoked salmon, medallions of venison, prosciutto and a drizzling of vintage balsamic vinegar.

And apparently he's not the first connoisseur of the finer things to whip up a preposterously pricey pizza — the current record for most expensive pie is held by Gordon Ramsay's Maze restaurant in London, where a white truffle, mushroom and fontina cheese dish will run you close to $200.

Crolla says he'll make his pizza at the winning bidder's home or at one of his restaurants, and that all proceeds will go to charity.

It Wasn't Me — It Was the Dead Guy

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — More than 200 Australian motorists have avoided parking and speeding fines by blaming either a dead man or an interstate resident for their errors in what police said Saturday may be a widespread fraud.

Under New South Wales state law, if a car owner signs a sworn statement that they were not driving the vehicle when an offense was committed, they can avoid paying speed camera fines, which arrive by mail, and parking tickets left under windshield wipers.

A recent government audit of the excuses given in those sworn statements revealed that 238 motorists had blamed one of two people — a dead man who had, when alive, lived in Sydney and a person living in neighboring South Australia state — Police Superintendent Daryl Donnolly said in a statement.

Some 80,000 Australian dollars (US$61,000; euro47,500) of fines have been avoided this way in the past three years, Donnolly said.

He did not identify the scapegoats or explain why police had not uncovered the scam by pursuing the pair for the money owed.

Donnolly said 49 of those car owners have since been charged with swearing false statements and face up to five years' imprisonment. The others will be questioned as part of a police crackdown, he said.

"These offenses amount to fraud and, if proven, those involved could face stiff penalties," Donnolly told reporters.

Txt Spk: No Lngr 2 Cool 4 Skool

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand's high school students will be able to use "text-speak" — the mobile phone text message language beloved of teenagers — in national exams this year, officials said.

Text-speak, a second language for thousands of teens, uses abbreviated words and phrases such as "txt" for "text", "lol" for "laughing out loud" or "lots of love," and "CU" for "see you."

The move has already divided students and educators who fear it could damage the English language.

New Zealand's Qualifications Authority said Friday that it still strongly discourages students from using anything other than full English, but that credit will be given if the answer "clearly shows the required understanding," even if it contains text-speak.

The authority's deputy chief executive for qualifications, Bali Haque, said students should aim to make their answers as clear as possible.

Confident that those grading papers would understand answers written in text-speak, Haque stressed that in some exams, including English, text abbreviations would be penalized.

Post Primary Teachers' Association President Debbie Te Whaiti said the authority's move reflects the classroom situation.

Teachers would have concerns if text slang became acceptable in everyday written language in classrooms, she said.

Critics said the National Certificate of Educational Achievement or NCEA, the main qualification for high school students, would be degraded by the authority allowing text speak use in exams.

Internet blogger Phil Stevens was not amused by the announcement. "nzqa(New Zealand Qualifications Authority): u mst b joking," Stevens wrote. "or r u smoking sumthg?"

Andy 'The Litigator' Griffith vs. Andy 'No Way This Is Really Happening' Griffith

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Forget the small-town belief in letting bygones be bygones.

The star of "The Andy Griffith Show," who portrayed the sheriff of the fictional town of Mayberry, has sued a Wisconsin man who unsuccessfully ran for the Grant County post after legally changing his name to Andrew Jackson Griffith.

The lawsuit, filed Nov. 3 in U.S. District Court in Madison, alleges that William Harold Fenrick, 42, violated trademark and copyright laws, as well as the privacy of actor Andy Samuel Griffith, when he used his new name to promote his candidacy for sheriff in southwestern Wisconsin.

The lawsuit says the former Fenrick changed his name for the "sole purpose of taking advantage of Griffith's notoriety in an attempt to gain votes." It asks the court to order him to go back to his original name.

The actor's lawsuit also asks Griffith to publish disclaimers and an apology in Grant County newspapers that say he has no association with the actor. It seeks unspecified damages and court fees.

"Now that the election is over, if Fenrick is willing in some fashion to clear the record, we probably could find a way to resolve it," said the actor's lawyer, Jim Cole.

Griffith argues that he did not benefit from the name change.

"During this campaign I never sold or profited even one nickel from the use of the name Andy Griffith or any item bearing the name Andy Griffith. Everything was a promotional item, and everything was given away for free," he said.

The Platteville music store co-owner said he spent $5,000 on his failed campaign and changed his name to garner publicity for the race.

Incumbent Sheriff Keith Govier, a Republican who has held the post for 10 years, won with 8,452 votes, followed by Democrat Doug Vesperman with 6,985 votes. Griffith, an independent, had 1,248 votes.

Griffith described the lawsuit as "incredibly absurd" and said he does not think people actually believe he is the actor.

"For such an American icon, it's a pretty un-American thing to do to me," said Griffith, who has about three weeks to respond to the filing.

The 80-year-old actor is best known for the 1960s show bearing his name, which remains one of the most popular series in TV history. He also played an unorthodox lawyer on "Matlock" in the 1980s and 1990s.

Compiled by's Taylor Timmins.

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