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DON'T LISTEN TO ME

For a nation mired in recession, Japan suddenly appeared to have developed an unparalleled streak of generosity. For a few minutes, at least. Imagine the excitement at an Asian Development Bank (ADB) conference in Shanghai, China, when Finance Minister Masa-juro Shiokawa mistakenly informed delegates that his government would donate $500 billion to the ADB's Poverty Reduction Fund. But then the transcript of his speech was handed out, and it corrected the amount ... to $50 million.

IT WAS DOUBLY DISAPPOINTING

Research shows that, at most, there are 5,000 sets of twins in Thailand. So you'd think any special promotion that attracts 2,443 of them to the same place at the same time would be pretty successful. Ah, but not successful enough, apparently. Twins Club of Thailand organizers had hoped at least 1,519 more would show up at a Bangkok theme park. Now, a day at the park can be great fun. But if you guessed the real reason was to win a new Guinness Book of World Records listing for the largest gathering of twins, you're right. The current mark – 3,961 – was set in Taiwan in 1999.

States where tax man takes the biggest bite of your pay

If you live in Connecticut, this is Tax Freedom Day – when, according to the Washington-based Tax Foundation, the average worker has earned enough pay to meet all his or her federal, state, and local obligations. Alas, at 134 days into the year, it takes Connecticut residents longer to reach that point than those of any other state. The 10 states with the highest average taxes, per capita, according to the Census Bureau:

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1. Connecticut $3,091

2. Hawaii 2,864

3. Delaware 2,731

4. Minnesota 2,722

5. Massachusetts 2,700

6. California 2,621

7. Vermont 2,532

8. New York 2,359

9. Wyoming 2,273

10. New Jersey 2,269

– Associated Press

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