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April 30, 2002



SO NOW HE'S A THIEF TOO?

"He's a bit young and short to be the real thing," said Brian Soles, a police department spokesman in Fort Moody, British Columbia. Who is? Well, Osama bin Laden. Or, to be precise, the 30-something, 5-ft., 7-in. or so man of Middle Eastern appearance who used a fake credit card with the Al Qaeda leader's name on it to gas up his Jaguar in the Vancouver suburb earlier this month. "I guess that shows the guy's sense of humor," said Soles. But it's the cops who hope for the last laugh. The car has been seen in the area again since the incident.

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IT SAYS 'PEDESTRIAN CROSSING'

Speaking of operating motor vehicles, some senior officers in the Swedish Navy are upset about a new law requiring them to have driver's licenses. It seems four cadets, in particular, stand to be denied their commissions because they lack the permits, which cost almost $1,250 each, not to mention the time spent on lessons and classes in theory. Grumped one submarine captain, the law should be rescinded because it will inhibit recruitment, and, besides: "There are very few traffic signs below sea level."

Hong Kong, Britain beat US on access to start-up funds

The economic slump, Enron's collapse, and the dotcom bust helped drop the US from first to third place in an annual ranking of global capital markets by the Milken Institute, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based think tank. Access to venture capital is considered a key indicator of economic well-being. The institute's top 10 (last year's rank in parentheses): 1. Hong Kong (4) 2. United Kingdom (Britain) (2) 3. US (1) 4. Singapore (7) 5. Switzerland (6) 6. Netherlands (5) 7. Canada (8) 8. Luxembourg (3) (tie) New Zealand (9)10. Australia (12) (tie) Finland (13) (tie) Taiwan (15) – Associated Press

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