News In Brief

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This Internet address business is catching on in ways its originators may never have intended. Perhaps you remember an item in this space a few months ago about the Oregon town that changed its name to Half.com in return for favors from a new Internet company. Now from Wales comes word that the village of Penrhyndudraeth has become the first place in Britain to post its URL on highway signs. Said a proud local leader: "We used to be just a dot on the map; now we're a dotcom on the map."

SHE'LL THANK YOU FOR IT

While there's still time, have you bought a Mother's Day card for the special woman in your life? In a given year, according to the Census Bureau, the occasion generates the third-highest volume of greeting card sales, behind Christmas and Valentine's Day.

Federal government: less than the sum of its parts?

On a scale of 1-10, where would you rate the federal government? Probably lower, a recent survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and Press found, than you'd rate individual bureaus that directly affect your lifestyle, finances, or environment. It asked respondents in specific groups their impressions of various key agencies. Some of those agencies, followed by each group's positive feeling toward them (by percentage):

Internal Revenue Service

Taxpayers 43%

Business tax officers 40%

Professional tax preparers 60%

Social Security Administration

Recipients 82%

Payroll taxpayers 57%

Business payroll officers 77%

Environmental Protection Agency

General public 68%

Business regulatory officers 52%

Environmental advocates 84%

Federal Aviation Administration

Frequent fliers 80%

Pilots 65%

Air traffic controllers 61%

Business regulatory officers 71%

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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