News In Brief

CAN YOU HEAR THEM OK NOW?

Because the bells of St. Stefano di Pizzoli Church didn't peal the way they used to, the Rev. Paolo Piccoli is out $200. No, the Roman Catholic priest in L'Aquila, Italy, isn't paying for repair work. That's how much he was fined by a local court. A fine for ringing church bells? Well, not just ringing. It seems he'd hooked them up to an electronic amplifier. The ear-splitting racket annoyed so many people that the police placed the amplifier under seal and charged the clergyman with disturbing the peace.

WILL THAT BE CASH? YEAH

There are easy arrests, and then there's the one police in Hampton, Va., made late last month. A woman robbed Peebles Department Store of an undisclosed sum of money and fled ... leaving behind a completed credit card application. Within 1-1/2 hours, officers visited her employer, where they obtained the suspect's photograph, then her residence. She was at home, as was the unspent loot.

Late-night TV comics find Clinton, Bush easy targets

Last week, presidential hopefuls George W. Bush and John McCain made what have become almost required stumps on late-night TV shows. But it's hardly the first time their names have come up there, given the hosts' penchant for joking about politicians. In fact, among current office seekers, Bush holds the distinction of being the butt of the most late-night jokes. The Washington-based Center for Media and Public Affairs has tabulated how often current, former, or potential candidates were in cracks by Jay Leno, David Letterman, Bill Maher, and Conan O'Brien over the past year, The list:

President Clinton 1,189

Hillary Rodham Clinton 329

George W. Bush 293

Al Gore 275

Dan Quayle 162

Pat Buchanan 63

Steve Forbes 61

Donald Trump 59

Rudolph Giuliani 30

John McCain 29

Bill Bradley 28

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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