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Pavel The Osminog?

Paul swims past a copy of the FIFA Football World Cup trophy in his aquarium in Oberhausen, Germany in July.
Paul the eight-armed Cassandra might find work in Russia.

At least if the head of Russia's National Association of Bookmakers has his way. Oleg Zhuravsky, has offered 100,000 euros to the German aquarium that cares for the World Cup oracle. Though he's no expert on octopus, Zhuravsky claims he worries that Paul might not live much longer and is begging the Germans to lend them Paul for just one hour a day.

Paul rocketed to fame after predicting the outcome of all eight of the World Cup games he was asked to tip.

Recently, the aquarium in Oberhausen where Paul lives refused the Madrid zoo's offer to exchange Paul for any of its animals.

If he doesn't choose the bookmakers, Paul may have a career in Russian politics. "Komsomolskaya Pravda" announced that it has asked Paul to predict who will be Russia's president in 2012.

The paper claims that one of its reporters approached Paul's tank with two pieces of paper: Medvedev written on one, Putin on the other. One of Paul's tentacles was instantly drawn to the winner...

But tragically, the paper says the results have been sealed until 2012.

-- Ashley Cleek

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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