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Aha! What do we have here?

How often, when you've been out and about, have you spied a coin in your path ... and not bothered to pick it up because it turned out to be only a lowly penny? But consider the experience of an unidentified Briton who was walking his dog along a bank of the River Ivel in Bedfordshire. He did trouble himself to pick up the penny at his feet. And as a result it may soon reward him out of all proportion to its face value. Experts have identified it as the only known coin bearing the name of Coenwulf of Mercia, a king who ruled a region of central England from 796 to 821 AD. Because it's also in excellent condition, auctioneers in London expect it to fetch more than $210,000 - perhaps far more - when it goes under the gavel next month.

New form of US aid comes with strings attached

Placing foreign aid on more than just a needs basis is central to the Millenium Challenge Account, an idea proposed by the Bush administration 2-1/2 years ago. For a struggling nation to be eligible for the $1 billion that Congress has appropriated for the first year of the fund (which is soon to make its first outlays) its leaders must demonstrate a commitment to governing justly, promoting economic freedom, and investing in its people. Some observers believe this could become a model for other donor nations. The 16 countries (of 70 that are considered needy) making the cut for receiving aid:

Armenia
Benin
Bolivia
Cape Verde
Georgia
Ghana
Honduras
Lesotho
Madagascar
Mali
Mongolia
Mozambique
Nicaragua
Senegal
Sri Lanka
Vanuatu
- Associated Press

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