Shire of Bland

PICTURE: Tai McQueen/CC BY-SA 2.0

Dull and Boring, meet Bland. The tiny Highland village of Dull in Scotland and the several thousand-strong farming community of Boring in the US state of Oregon have held a special tourist-related bond since 2012. Now the two communities have welcomed a third place into their fold - that of the Bland Shire in the Australian state of New South Wales. A reception was held in Dull last week to welcome Bland into what was been described as the "League of Extraordinary Communities". Both Bland Shire and Boring are named after early residents - William Bland and William Boring - while it is thought Dull's name might have its origins in a Gaelic word for meadow. Dennis Melloy, an official in the Scottish region that's home to Dull, reportedly said the alliance could soon expand again. "We've found Ordinary and Dreary, both in America, and I think they could soon be part of it all."

As if getting sacked from the job of White House communications director wasn't enough for Anthony "The Mooch" Scaramucci to cope with this week, he was also listed as dead in a Harvard Law School alumni directory mailed out to former students. The directory reportedly showed an asterisk next to his name, an indication that the person was deceased. Harvard later acknowledged the error and apologised, saying that they would remove the asterisk in the next directory update.

• Honolulu has reportedly become the first major city in the US to introduce laws banning pedestrians from being smartphone "zombies" when crossing the road. The laws, which take effect from 25th October, will reportedly impose fines of between $US15 and $US99 for people looking at their phone or tablet as they cross a road, depending on how many times they do so. As many as 11,000 injuries resulted from mobile-phone related distractions in the US between 2000 and 2011, according to one study.