News In Brief

THAT'S GRATITUDE FOR YOU He flew combat missions in two wars and has the medals to prove it. But forgive retired Royal Air Force pilot Dudley Burnside if he sees himself on the wrong side of the generational gap after losing a legal fight in Windsor, England. He sued to have an uncooperative neighbor's 33-foot-high hedge cut down, claiming it hid the sun. But a judge threw out the suit, ordering him to pay the expenses of defendant Jimmy Page: $41,250. That's double Burnside's pension. Said Page, guitarist/founder of the rock group Led Zeppelin: "The Burnsides lost, and there's obviously good reason for that."

THE DAY THE EARTH MOVED In southern California, ordinary computer users are providing valuable help in earthquake research. Visitors to a US Geological Survey Web site - more than 18,000 since last Saturday's 7.0-magnitude tremor - are asked whether they felt it and to what degree. Answers are graded by ZIP code, allowing the production of a map showing its varying intensity.

Light trucks are gaining in popularity among thieves High-end light trucks joined Honda Accords and Toyota Camrys as the most commonly stolen vehicles in the US last year. On the National Insurance Crime Bureau's new top 10 list, Chevrolet C/K pickup trucks moved up four spots from 1997 to become No. 3. Ford F-series pickups jumped three notches to No. 7. "Thieves follow market trends and target the most popular vehicles," a bureau spokes-man said. Sport-utility vehicles also were increasingly targeted; Jeep Cherokees and Grand Cherokees moved up five places to No. 4. The list:

1. Honda Accord

2. Toyota Camry

3. Chevrolet full-size pickup (C/K series)

4. Cherokee/Grand Cherokee

5. Honda Civic

6. Oldsmobile Cutlass

7. Ford full-size pickup (F series)

8. Ford Mustang

9. Dodge Caravan

10. Toyota Corolla

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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