News In Brief

WE PREFER FRENCH CUFFS, TOO

Picture this scenario: A prominent company in a major city has 50 new jobs to offer, yet is dreading what it may take to fill them. Far-fetched? Not at Maersk Data, a division of the Copenhagen, Denmark-based shipping empire. The new hires are needed for a big Internet project. But the company has a strict dress code, whereas today's software wizards tend to be a casual-clothes crowd. "We're aware," a Maersk statement says hopefully, "that they belong to another culture. They can teach us to eat pizza. We'll teach them how to knot a tie."

FAMINE GRIPS NEW ENGLAND!

Snack-food junkies across the Northeast may need more than pocket change to buy a package of Twinkies these days. In fact, the auction site eBay.com is offering the last box of the spongy cakes "known to man" for no less than $2,500 as a Teamsters strike that's left grocery shelves empty enters its second week. No takers - yet. But Charlie Bianchi, who runs a Boston snack bar, is tired of facing the wrath of Twinkie-deprived customers. "They look at me," he groans, "with doubt in their eyes."

The people's choice for best picture at the Oscars

If it were up to the public which movie should be awarded the Oscar for best picture, "The Green Mile" would win, according to a poll by abcnews.com. Not surprisingly, perhaps, its results largely reflect which nominees did well at the box office. "The Sixth Sense," with a reported gross of $288.5 million to date, also scored well. "The Insider," which flopped in theaters, finished last. Yet, in the random sample of 1,009 US adults, a full 32 percent chose none of the five candidates. Results of the official balloting will be revealed Sunday, when the 72nd Annual Academy Awards are presented in Los Angeles. For now, the percentage of the national sample that thought each nominee should win:

The Green Mile 25%

The Sixth Sense 22

American Beauty 13

The Cider House Rules 5

The Insider 3

- Entertainment Wire

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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