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In New York late last week, the UN appointed its new - um - spokesman for the world's fast-growing elderly population. UN demographers say people aged 60 and up will number almost 2 billion by 2050.

The spokesman's job: to promote awareness of the needs of the aging as next April's global conference on the subject in Madrid approaches. Exactly how Marcel Marceau, the world's No. 1 mime, will do that was not specified.

Airports where you'll hear 'Flight delayed' most often

Airlines schedule far more flights than major US airports have the capacity to land on time, a new Federal Aviation Administration report says. In good weather, 15 of 31 major airports can't handle all takeoffs or landings for at least part of the day, it says. In bad weather that figure jumps to 23. That's significant because two-thirds of delays are blamed on weather. Airports with the greatest number of delayed takeoffs and landings in 2000, followed by the percentage of delays, according to the FAA:

1. New York LaGuardia, 61,120 15.6%

2. Chicago O'Hare, 57,545 6.3

3. Newark, 37,132 8.1

4. Atlanta, 28,229 3.1

5. San Francisco, 24,478 5.7

6. Boston, 24,120 4.7

7. Philadelphia, 21,521 4.5

8. Dallas-Ft. Worth, 20,638 2.4

9. Los Angeles, 17,141 2.2

10. Phoenix, 14,024 2.2

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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