News In Brief

A LITTLE BIRDIE TOLD ME

In Chongqing, China, a woman - we'll call her Li - visited her attorney last week and took along her pet mynah. Not because she can't bear to be parted from the talking bird but because she thought it might prove helpful to her legal case. Li noticed on returning from a vacation with her parents that the bird had added new words to its vocabulary: "divorce" and "be patient," which it used each time there was a phone call for her husband. Yes, Li is suing to end her marriage on grounds that he has a mistress. But her lawyer isn't optimistic that a judge will allow the bird on the witness stand.

WE'RE HERE TO HELP

If Queen Elizabeth II approves, convicts Mark Collerton and Andrew Good will rejoin society early because of their exemplary behavior. On a prison farm in south Wales, they went to the rescue of manager Roger Murray, who was being mauled by a large, angry boar. Collerton's crime: ironically, assault resulting in bodily harm.

Ivy League, military schools are pickiest in admissions

Despite young Americans' dwindling interest in joining the armed forces, military academies remained among the most difficult US colleges to get into during the 1999-2000 year, a Kaplan/Newsweek guide shows. The Coast Guard Academy was the pickiest, accepting only 9.6 percent of 5,500 applicants. But West Point and the Naval and Air Force Academies also were among the 15 choosiest schools. Colleges in the 1999-2000 academic year that accepted the smallest percentage of applicants. (Figures for West Point are from 1998-99.)

1. US Coast Guard Academy 9.6%

2. Juilliard School 10.9%

3. Harvard 11.4%

4. Princeton 11.4%

5. Cooper Union 13.1%

6. Columbia 13.6%

7. US Naval Academy 14.9%

8. Stanford 15.0%

9. US Military Academy (West Point) 15.1%

10. Yale 16.1%

- The Washington Post

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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