News In Brief

HEY, YOU CAN'T COME IN HERE

Harry Fairweather inspires words of praise from merchants in Manchester, England. They just wish he'd stop visiting their stores. It seems he somehow gives off magnetic waves that trigger shoplifting alarms, even though he's too small to swipe anything. Harry, you see, is 2. His mother, Paula, once removed everything he was wearing except his briefs to prove he wasn't hiding stolen merchandise. Said one store executive: "Harry is a wonderful little boy.... We laugh about his magnetic personality, but it must be embarrassing for his mum."

WHAT IF I PLEAD POVERTY?

"The road was wide, and I was feeling good," Jaakko Rytsola explained after paying the most expensive traffic ticket in Finnish history: $70,600. This, for being clocked at 19 m.p.h. over the limit. Fines are based on the speed at which the offender was caught, plus his or her income. There's no ceiling, and, unfortunately for Rytsola, he's a millionaire.

Where business renters pay most for prime space

A healthy global economy, rising employment, and low inflation are forcing up business rents in major cities around the world, according to London-based Healey & Baker, commercial property specialists. The company has just released its Main Streets Across the World 2000 Report, which compares rents in 216 locations in 44 countries. On average, they rose 3.2 percent, led by Ankara, Turkey, at a staggering 125 percent. France placed six locations in the top 15, including the Champs-Elysees in Paris. New York, however, was king of the high-rent district. The five costliest locations and what they average per square foot:

1. 57th Street, New York $7,500

2. Champs-Elysees, Paris 6,000

3. Pitt Street Mall, Sydney, Australia 4,800

4. Oxford Street, London 4,263

5. Causeway Bay, Hong Kong 4,060

- Agence France-Press

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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