News In Brief

HERE, HAVE YOURSELF A BLAST

For two weeks, the waste-removal service in Toyama, Japan, would pick up all the trash that one homeowner left at the curb for collection - except for a rusty object a little over a foot long and about two inches around. "I think they didn't want to touch it," said a spokesman for the police department, which ultimately took the thing away and turned it over to Japan's Self-Defense Force. This, despite the fact that passersby were seen holding it up for close inspection. But then, the trash guys probably had better sense because the item turned out to be ... an unexploded bomb.

***

SEND THE BILL TO ME, OK?

There are wealthy people who attract attention by their lavish spending on trinkets. Then there's Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz. The Saudi prince is offering to pay for the uprooting and replanting of the only fully grown date palm in Hong Kong. The 49-foot-tall tree, a fixture there since 1951, is in the path of a road-widening project. It was imported from Mecca and is a landmark for local Muslims.

'Spy Kids' is packing crowds into theaters across the US

For the third straight week, "Spy Kids" was a box-office hit, earning $12.8 million last weekend to top all other current releases and bring total ticket sales to $68.6 million since it debuted March 30. The comedy starring Antonio Banderas is about two kids who have to rescue their parents from a nefarious villain. The top-grossing films at North American theaters for the April 13-15 weekend (in millions):

1. "Spy Kids" $12.8

2. "Along Came A Spider" 11.3

3. "Bridget Jones's Diary" 10.8

4. "Joe Dirt" 8.2

5. "Blow" 8.0

6. "Kingdom Come" 7.5

7. "Josie and the Pussycats" 5.2

8. "Pokemon 3" 2.7

9. "Someone Like You" 2.6

10. "Enemy at the Gates" 2.5

(tie) "Heartbreakers" 2.5

- Exhibitor Relations Inc./ Reuters

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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