News In Brief

QUIZ SHOWS FOR DUMMIES

"Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" no longer seems to dazzle American TV audiences to the degree it once did. In Singapore, the local version of the show has a different problem: Contestants are having trouble lasting beyond the fifth question - "lifelines" and all. This, despite questions that critics complain "border on insulting the intelligence," such as arranging four countries in alphabetical order. "When we select contestants, we don't screen them," said a production company spokesman, adding: "The clever people aren't calling yet."

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WE APPRECIATE YOUR PATIENCE

In Osaka, Japan, last week, Ruth Aarons of the US and Austria's Gertrude Pritzi picked up certificates for a world championship ping pong match they played - in 1937. Why the holdup? It seems the contest ran beyond the time limit, their table was needed for the next match, and the federation governing the sport took 64 years to decide they were worthy.

USA Today's coast-to-coast circulation keeps it No. 1

For the third straight year, USA Today is the most widely read newspaper, a new report by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC) shows - by a 33,064 margin over The Wall Street Journal. Overall, however, newspaper readership was down nationwide, and the three largest papers recorded subscriber gains of less than 1 percent. The US's 10 biggest papers and their average weekday circulation, according to the ABC:

1. USA Today 1,852,592

2. Wall Street Journal 1,819,528

3. New York Times 1,159,954

4. Los Angeles Times 1,058,494

5. Washington Post 802,594

6. New York Daily News 716,095

7. Chicago Tribune 621,870

8. Newsday (Long Island, N.Y.) 576,692

9. Houston Chronicle 545,066

10. San Francisco Chronicle 527,466

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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