Etc...

GO PICK ON SOMEONE ELSE

Can you imagine two groups less likely to communicate with each other than an American thrash metal band and a British ladies' knitting circle? Nonetheless, the latter claims not to be intimidated by "pretty unpleasant" e-mail messages from the musicians over the name of its quarterly publication, Slipknot. You see, that's also the name of the band, whose members apparently think Internet users could end up confused over which is which. Now, confusing any group that calls its fans "maggots" with a club of middle-aged women may seem a bit of a stretch. And that's just the attitude that the Knitting & Crochet Guild chooses to take. "We are not," its leader says, "going to let it bother us."

NO, I DON'T LIVE IN A CAVE

Speaking of being bullied, a local court in southeastern Turkey has granted permission to a small boy to change his name. For the first six years of his life, no one seemed to mind the name his parents had given him: Osama Solmaz. But then came the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and ever since the mockery and taunting by school mates have been unmerciful. So from now on, he'll legally be known as Yusuf.

Flow of US economic aid is heaviest to Russia, Israel

Japan and the US were the globe's leading sources of foreign aid in 2000. They contributed, respectively, $13.5 billion and almost $10 billion to developing nations, according to a recent report by the Paris-based Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The top 10 recipients of US aid, and how much each was given (in millions unless otherwise noted):

1. Russia $1.1 billion

2. Israel 967

3. Egypt 799

4. Ukraine 282

5. Indonesia 194

6. Jordan 179

7. Colombia 169

8. Bosnia-Herzegovina 152

9. India 148

10. Peru 136

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