Etc...

... AND, DRIVER, HURRY PLEASE

If you think using cellphones is a distraction while driving a car, just imagine how affected a woman was while traveling on an intercity bus in northern Greece last weekend. As we pick up the story, the passenger was so deep in conversation when the driver reached her stop that she got off without her four-month-old son. Fortunately, she quickly realized her mistake and hired a taxi to chase the bus back to its terminal, where the infant was still where she'd left him 30 minutes before – on the back seat – crying but otherwise OK

CAN YOU STAND THE SUSPENSE?

In Paris last week, the group Reporters Without Borders raised $50,000 at an auction with a novel concept: selling off disposable cameras 99 international celebrities had used to record images that touched them. Among them was actress Juliette Binoche, who won an Academy Award in 1996 for "The English Patient." She used her camera to shoot scenes from violence-wracked Algeria. It fetched $4,200. Each buyer had a decision to make: develop the star's film or keep the camera, plus an accompanying autograph and a certificate of authenticity

US outspends all others on defense, annual study finds

Military spending worldwide rose by 2 percent last year to $839 billion, according to an annual survey by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The US, as usual, led the way. And, the group noted, its report hadn't taken full account of extra funding in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The 10 nations with the biggest military budgets in 2001 as listed by SIPRI, and how much each spent (in billions):

1. US $281.4
2. Russia 43.9
3. France 40.0
4. Japan 38.5
5. Britain 37.0
6. Germany 32.4
7. China 27.0
8. Saudi Arabia 26.6
9. Italy 24.7
10. Brazil 14.1
– Associated Press

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