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Baseball and hockey are known for their brawls. But chess? Maybe, after Monday's spectacle at the Doeberl Cup in Canberra, Australia. Two participants there came to blows after one of them accused the other, whose game already was completed, of disrupting his match. Other players had to step in to break up the tussle. "It is one of the most disgusting things I have seen at a chess tournament," said an onlooker. The Australian Chess Federation apparently agrees: Not only were the two disqualified, but they may be banned from the sport.

AT LEAST IT DIDN'T RATTLE

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When Tim Wooding's new clothes dryer wouldn't work and he had to send for an electrician, it never occurred to him that the problem wasn't technical. As it turns out, the Kent, England, resident's six-foot python - part of his pet menagerie - slithered into the internal workings of the appliance. Said the electrician's supervisor afterward: "I've never seen him look so pale."

St. Olaf: small college, but big leader in studying abroad

On a percentage basis, students of St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., crack open their textbooks overseas more than those from any other US school, according to a report by the Institute of International Education. About 9 percent of collegians study abroad each year, and Secretary of Education Richard Riley has called for more funding to educate US students in foreign languages, send more minority students on overseas programs, and for e-mail exchanges with foreign schools. Colleges that sent the highest percentage of students abroad in the 1997-98 academic year, the latest for which figures are available:

St. Olaf College 94%

Dartmouth College 46%

University of Northern Iowa 31%

Notre Dame (Ind.) 28%

Miami University (Ohio) 25%

Duke University 24%

Georgetown University 23%

University of Pennsylvania 22%

American University 21%

Cornell University 21%

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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