News In Brief

NOW IT NEEDS AN ANTHEM

Somehow, this missed the headlines, but England is embroiled in another revolution. At least, this time it's bloodless. East Grinstead, halfway between London and the seaside resort of Brighton, declared its independence and now calls itself the People's Republic of Ashurst Wood Nation State. Checkpoints have been set up at each of the village's entrances, visitors need visas to enter, and ministries have been set up for local affairs. Why? As with the American colonies, one resident said, government "is a very long way away, and they've never been to visit us."

BRIDGE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

Nearby Ashdown Forest, meanwhile, wishes to announce that its famous Pooh sticks bridge is open to the public again. As noted in this space last October, 92 years of use by lovers of the A.A. Milne stories made it a safety hazard. It has been rebuilt at a cost of $76,000.

US stamps may go up, but will still be relatively cheap

By comparison, it's pretty cheap to mail a letter in the US, even if the price of a first-class stamp inches up to 34 cents as requested by the Postal Service and approved earlier this week by its board of governors. The increase, which would not take effect until 2001, still must be OK'd by the independent Postal Rate Commission - an action not expected before November. The price of first-class postage in selected other countries (in US funds and in ascending order):

Canada 30 cents

New Zealand 41 cents

United Kingdom 42 cents

Italy 44 cents

France 49 cents

Denmark 58 cents

Sweden 61 cents

Germany 62 cents

Japan 75 cents

- Associated Press

TO OUR READERS

The Christian Science Monitor will not be published Martin Luther King Day, Monday, Jan. 17, a legal holiday in the United States.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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