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By Compiled from wire service reports by Kristen Browan-Worthington and Steven Savides / January 8, 2002



I'll take that in 30's and 40's

A gas station attendant in Kolari, Finland, is breathing a sigh of relief after getting stiffed for about $7. Why, pray tell? It seems a customer tried to pay with a 300 euro bill, which would be worth $268 - if such a thing existed. When the attendant couldn't make change, however, the customer left, promising to come back later. He didn't. The pledge was as phony as the bill. Since euro cash debuted Jan. 1 in 12 countries, counterfeits have also turned up in Germany, the Netherlands, and Ireland.

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Please curb your elephant

Bangkok's local wildlife has been getting a bit too wild, apparently. Authorities in the Thai capital are drafting a law that bars animals from being left unattended in public. Owners also must clean up after their pet. The problem is bigger than you might think. The law would apply to dogs, of course, but also to elephants, cows, and water buffalo. Offenders face $45-$230 in fines and as much as six months in jail.

Prairie states provide best online service - report

Prairie states Kansas and Illinois topped a survey of US state governments' online efforts, outpacing hitech hubs such as California and Massachusetts. The two Midwestern states received high marks for a wide variety of services from business regulation to education to law enforcement. The Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF) noted in its annual survey that states overall have made great strides in online offerings over the past few years. All 50 now post court decisions online, while 47 allow citizens to file tax returns electronically. Here's the PFF's list of the top 10 states online:

1. Kansas

2. Illinois

3. Washington

4. Maryland

5. Arizona

6. Maine

7. New Jersey

8. Utah

9. Ohio

10. Michigan

- Reuters

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