etc...

IF I HAD IT TO DO OVER AGAIN ...

There are thoughtless kids and then there's the teenager from Ahtme, Estonia, whose hope of competing in next spring's "olympiad" for young mathematicians may be dashed because of e-mail that he admits he sent. The unidentified student was fooling around in a computer class in school when he decided President Bush was personally responsible for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and so should be issued a death threat - via the White House. Not surprisingly, the youth was tracked down, and the prank could cost him a visa to the US and his parents a fine. Said the school headmaster: "He is not a troublemaker [and] is deeply sorry for what he did."

AND DOWN. AND UP. AND ...

In the Ukraine port city of Sevastopol, meanwhile, a retiree/ fitness buff has chosen a unique way of demonstrating concern that US retaliation for the attacks might lead to World War III: deep knee-bends - 2,060 of them. In just under 1-1/2 hours. Yes, she also is expected to submit her effort to the Guinness Book of World Records for consideration.

Apartments not easy to find for those in low-wage jobs

The average American must earn at least $13.87 an hour - almost three times the $5.15/hour minimum wage - to pay rent on a small two-bedroom apartment, according to an annual report by the National Low-Income Housing Coalition. Its study is based on a government assessment of fair-market rent, or no less than 30 percent of gross income. Areas where rental housing is least and most affordable and the hourly wage a worker must earn to afford a two-bedroom apartment:

Most affordable

Gadsden, Ala. $7.37

Anniston, Ala. 7.71

Joplin, Mo. 7.85

St. Joseph, Mo. 7.96

Least affordable

San Francisco 33.60

San Jose, Calif. 30.62

Stamford/Norwalk, Conn. 26.62

Oakland, Calif. 23.90

Nassau-Suffolk, N.Y. 23.65

- Associated Press

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