News In Brief

NO ONE ELSE WAS EVEN CLOSE

If you were among those waiting for the town of Qurnet Shahwan, Lebanon, to become famous, your patience has been rewarded. Officials there say they've received a certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records for last year's accomplishment: the largest bowl of tabbouleh in history. Tabbouleh, for those who don't know, is a salad of crushed wheat, tomatoes, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, onion, and mint, usually washed down with strong drink. Anyway, Qurnet Shahwan's weighed 3,337 pounds and was mixed by 158 people at a local festival.

SORRY, ALL CIRCUITS ARE BUSY

There was mass frustration last week at a trade show in Cannes, France. The 20,000 attendees found it all but impossible to make calls on their cellphones and had to communicate instead via SMS, the text-message feature on the devices. Reason: The French wireless networks were overloaded. Oh, the trade show? It was an annual gathering of the mobile-phone industry.

Towns with bragging rights to the world's best tap water

The town of Amos, Quebec, took first place for its municipal water at last weekend's International Water Tasting competition in Berkeley Springs, W.Va. Amos is the first non-US municipality to win the honor in the event's 11-year history, beating out 60 competitors from nine countries, 27 states, and the District of Columbia - the largest field yet. The winner is determined by a panel of journalists, food writers, and tourism officials, who judge appearance, smell, and taste. Previous winners in the event's municipal category:

2000 Yucca Valley, Calif.

1999 Desert Hot Springs, Calif.

1998 Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, Los Angeles

1997 Dubuque, Iowa

1996 Atlantic City, N.J.

1995 Kent, Ohio

1994 Charleston, W.Va.

1993 Atlantic City, N.J.

1992 Atlantic City, N.J.

1991 Charleston, W.Va.

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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