Etc...

HEY, THE PUBLICITY WAS GREAT

In Izmir, Turkey, police showed up nine hours into a round-the-clock broadcast that a radio personality was attempting from a coffin buried three feet underground. Yasar Naci Kurtcu was ordered brought to the surface because the stunt was "a threat to his life," even though breathing tubes brought him ample fresh air. Kurtcu didn't protest too loudly because "I was getting fed up anyway." Still, he vows to try again – for 48 hours next time.

THAT'S MY OTHER LINE RINGING

Telecommunications slump? Maybe elsewhere, but not, apparently, in Taiwan. The Communication Ministry reports the island has more cellphones than people – by a ratio of 1.7 to 1. Since 1998, the number of cellphone users has zoomed from 2 million to 22.6 million. Some popular teens, the report notes, carry a separate phone for each boyfriend or girlfriend.

Largest Hispanic company in US sells cars to Coloradans

A suburban Denver auto dealership group that sells and services General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, and Toyota vehicles has been identified as the US's largest Hispanic-owned company. According to rankings late last month by the magazine Hispanic Business, Burt Automotive Network had revenues of $1.5 billion in 2001. The top 10, the home base of each, and its reported sales last year (in millions, unless otherwise noted):

1. Burt Automotive Network, Englewood, Colo $1.5 billion
2. MasTec Inc., Miami 1.2 billion
3. Codina Group Inc., Coral Gables, Fla. 783.0
4. Goya Foods Inc., Secaucus, N.J. 715.0
5. Ancira Enterprises Inc. San Antonio, Texas 655.0
6. Brightstar Corp., Miami 621.0
7. Related Group of Florida, Miami 547.0
8. Elder Automotive Group, Troy, Mich. 538.8
9. Molina Healthcare Inc., Long Beach, Calif. 502.0
10. Pharmed Group Corp., Miami 389.1

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