News In Brief

By , Judy Nichols, Noel Paul, and Sara Steindorf

DON'T POINT THAT AT ME

Drivers in Germany are on notice: Making - um - rude gestures with one's hand at speed-checking cameras is a sure way to wind up in court. In fact, a judge in Bavaria has ruled that one motorist caught rendering an internationally recognized insult as he passed an operating camera had "addressed" not the equipment but the unseen police monitoring it. The cameras are widely used in enforcing limits on secondary roads, although Germany is famous for its lack of restrictions on autobahns.

I CAN'T VOTE FOR THEM ANYWAY

Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?

It may not have any effect on the way they conduct the remainder of their campaigns, but presidential candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore now know exactly what one veteran political observer thinks of them. In an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Communist Cuban leader Fidel Castro said the Democratic and GOP nominees both "bore" him and he plans to spend Nov. 7, election day in the US, "at the beach."

Julia Roberts heads list of top cinema box-office draws

Celebrity status - in Hollywood especially - can generate business by itself. For example, according to James Ulmer, author of the newly published "Hollywood Hot List," Julia Roberts alone can guarantee financing for a proposed film, even without an accompanying script, director, or costars. In fact, Roberts heads up his ranking of 200 film-industry personalities whose names virtually guarantee strong ticket sales - at least for an opening weekend. Ulmer not only measures the box-office take but also how well actors promote their films and manage their careers on and off the set. The top 10, from his "hot list":

1. Julia Roberts

2. Tom Hanks

3. Tom Cruise

4. Mel Gibson

5. Bruce Willis

6. John Travolta

7. Brad Pitt

8. Meg Ryan

9. Leonardo DiCaprio

10. Will Smith

- Reuters

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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