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hello? is someone there?

When no one spoke on the 9-9-9 call to police in Manchester, England, officers took off for the residence it was traced to. But when they arrived, the only trouble was a housesitter who had locked herself out and was sitting on the front steps. No, Michelle Gibbs said, she hadn't placed the call. But she did try to break in; maybe an alert neighbor reported her. No again. Well, then, who summoned the cops? Peering through a window, they saw a telephone with its receiver off the hook and the homeowner's parrot perched on the keypad, still pecking at the numbers.

SO IS MINE GOING TO HIM?

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In Ipswich, England, Emma Bailey is dealing with a communications mystery of a different sort. Clearly addressed letters keep arriving at her Salisbury Road home when they should go to Paul Barron on Salisbury Road instead. Unfortunately, Barron isn't a close neighbor, so taking the misdelivered mail to him is not an option. He lives in Ipswich, Australia - 10,500 miles away.

Want high pay? Major in a tech field, new report says

College graduates who have bachelor's degrees in engineering earn the highest average monthly salaries ($4,852) while those with education degrees earn the lowest ($2,802), according to a new Commerce Department report. The study examined 1996 data to calculate the earnings potential in various academic disciplines. Not surprisingly, at the top of the scale were graduates with professional degrees, such as lawyers and physicians, who averaged about $7,224 per month, the report said. Bachelors-degree graduates who earned the most in full-time jobs, by degree field:

1. Engineering $4,852

2. Computer science 4,416

3. Agriculture 4,408

4. Literature 4,044

5. Business 4,032

6. Natural science 3,866

7. Foreign language 3,840

8. Mathematics 3,797

9. Psychology 3,602

10. Liberal arts 3,472

- US Census Bureau

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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