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HMMM, IT NEEDS MORE GARLIC

People are forever trying to win listings in the Guinness Book of World Records - and often through preparation of some type of food. Now from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, comes word that one of the Red Sea city's resort hotels plans to shoot the works by cooking up a batch of kabsa for 10,000 guests and friends. But, you say, surely meals for gatherings that large have been fixed before. Perhaps, but in a single pot? Kabsa, a traditional Middle Eastern dish, consists of chicken, rice, tomato, raisins, and other ingredients.

THAT DASH IS MISPLACED, TOO

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In Britain, a retired copy editor who's a stickler for correct punctuation has founded the Apostrophe Protection Society. John Richard has had it with merchants who advertise "100's of models in stock" or "take 25% off our already low price's." Said Richard of the dozens of people who've written to support him: "They see the language declining - and it's quite a good language."

France and US lead the pack in visits by foreign tourists

France was the most popular tourist destination in the world last year - with about 74.5 million international visitors, according to the Department of Commerce. The US came in second, greeting a record 50.9 million tourists - a 5 percent increase over the previous year. Most US visitors came from Canada and Mexico, with travelers from those nations accounting for 14.5 million and 10.3 million visits, respectively. An improved Canadian economy and growth in Asia and Latin America also gave the US a boost in tourism last year. Japan was the leading source of overseas trips to the US, with 5.06 million visitors in 2000, followed by the United Kingdom. Countries that drew the most foreign tourists (in millions) last year, according to figures presented to the Travel Industry Association of America's annual convention:

1. France 74.5

2. US 50.9

3. Spain 48.5

4. Italy 41.2

5. China 31.2

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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