Etc...

HEY, MAY WE HAVE A SWALLOW?

They didn't surface in any talent search. But without even trying, the Coca-Cola Co. has found some effective promoters for its products in China. Whereas other animals in the popular Shanghai Wildlife Park are being fed chilled watermelon and other snacks to keep them cool in a blistering heat wave, the zoo's bears want something more. They've learned that if they stand on their hind legs with forepaws folded, visitors will give them cold Coke purchased at vendors' trolleys. And only Coke will do, apparently. Even if cold, proffered bottles of mineral water are rejected by the furry critters.

BUT CANARIES WOULD BE OK

Speaking of China, first it was men who like to go shirtless in the summer heat. Now it's pet pigeons that Beijing authorities are hoping to banish from view as the city prepares to stage the 2008 Olympic Games. An ordinance is under consideration that would make raising or taking the birds outdoors punishable by large fines. Pigeons are extremely popular with residents, who are all but forbidden to keep dogs. Alas, their "droppings, noises, and unpleasant smell" annoy people who don't share the enthusiasm, the official China Daily newspaper explained.

Britney, Tiger top magazine's list of biggest celebrities

Earnings, mentions in the popular communications media, and online buzz were among the factors Forbes considered for its latest annual ranking of the 100 top celebrities. But money is the most important, the magazine said. The top 10 (No. 5 and No. 6 are rock bands) on the Forbes fame-and-fortune list, and how much each earned in the past year (in millions):

1. Britney Spears $39.2
2. Tiger Woods 69.0
3. Steven Spielberg 100.0
4. Madonna 43.0
5. U2 69.0
6. 'N Sync 42.3
7. Mariah Carey 58.0
8. Oprah Winfrey 150.0
9. Michael Jordan 36.0
10. Tom Hanks 45.0

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