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Perhaps you remember an item in this space Jan. 19 about a young Romanian couple who were so delighted about having met via an Internet chat line that they named their first-born after the search engine Yahoo in appreciation. Well, if it seemed too improbable a story to be true, that's because it was. Now comes a confession from a Bucharest daily newspaper, Libertatea, that one of its reporters had made up the whole thing to impress his superiors. Alas, the baby in question was his own. What's more, dad modified the birth certificate, a picture of which appeared with the story, showing the phony name. "We fired him," deputy editor Simona Ionescu said. But she conceded, "If it were real, it would have been a good story indeed."

Slamming the brakes on antiabortion license plates

Specialty license plates have become popular with American motorists, many of whom don't mind paying a premium to display a theme or message promoting a cause they support. For example, in South Carolina and 10 other states, car owners who oppose abortion have been able to request "Choose Life" plates. But a decision earlier this week by the US Supreme Court is expected to change that. The justices chose to let stand a lower court ruling - in a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood of South Carolina - that for a state to offer its residents only antiabortion plates is a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution. As a result, South Carolina either must stop offering "Choose Life" plates or must make available plates with an opposing view. The states (in alphabetical order) that offer "Choose Life" license plates:

Alabama
Arkansas
Connecticut
Florida
Hawaii
Louisiana
Maryland
Mississippi
Montana
Oklahoma
South Carolina
Tennessee
- Associated Press

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