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News In Brief

April 5, 2000



I SUPPOSE YOU WANT HIM BACK

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Carl and Margaret Olsson drove 19 miles to answer a classified ad for furniture that another family was selling. And not only didn't they end up buying, but the trip cost them their dog. They'd adopted a stray seven weeks before, naming him Patch because of his markings, when they arrived at Josie and Ray Hirst's house in Methley, England. The latter were still upset at the disappearance of their pet, and so the couples got to comparing notes. Hmm: same markings; same time frame - even the same name. Patch is now back with the Hirsts, presumably lounging on some of that unsold furniture.

REVERSE ENGINEERING

Making plans to go to Italy to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa? You may want to accelerate them. And not because the famous landmark is finally about to topple. Rather, the experts working to stabilize it have succeeded in reducing the angle of lean - by one centimeter (0.3937 inches) since Jan. 1. The project is to continue for one more year.

Fortune 500: dj vu at top, but notables elsewhere

After a little musical chairs, Fortune magazine's ranking of the top 10 biggest companies in the US is basically the same as in its earlier surveys. General Motors, for example, has been No. 1 since 1989. But further down the list are some notables: America Online, at No. 337, is the first purely Internet company to be ranked. And Amgen, at No. 463, is the first biotechnology firm. The highest-ranked newcomer landed at No. 54: investment bank Goldman Sachs Group, which went public last year. The top 10, with last year's rank (if different) and 1999 revenue (in billions):

1. General Motors $189.0

2. Wal-Mart Stores (3) $166.8

3. Exxon Mobil (4) $163.9

4. Ford Motor (2) $162.5

5. General Electric $111.6

6. IBM $87.5

7. Citigroup $82.0

8. AT&T (10) $62.4

9. Philip Morris (8) $61.7

10. Boeing (9) $57.9

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society