Etc...

Driver! Next stop, please

Hey, wouldn't it make great TV, producers in Thailand thought, if they staged a fake jailbreak and the escaped "inmates" hijacked a bus? So, last week, they did. With cameras rolling , comedian Santi Meesaeng-chan and another actor ran into a Bangkok street, wearing jail uniforms and handcuffs, and forced their way aboard the vehicle. For maximum effect, other actors were mixed among the passengers to react to the incident. Did it all turn out to have the desired impact ? Alas, no. One rider phoned the police, who stopped the bus at a roadblock and hauled the "escapees" off for "frightening the public." They now owe a 1,000 baht ($24) fine - each.

Get this, Pittsburgh: Dutch company now king of steel

The era in which the US led the world in steel production is over. According to the International Iron & Steel Institute, only two American companies - US Steel (No. 7) and Nucor Corp. (No. 10) remain among the world's largest steel producers. Some of this is due to consolidation, brought on by the need to share raw materials, such as the merger of the former British Steel and Koninklijke Hoogovens of the Netherlands to form the Corus Group. Another contributing factor: the growing demand in Asian nations with fast-growing economies, especially China and India. The 10 largest steel-makers and their annual output (in millions of metric tons):

1. Mittal Steel Co., Rotterdam, Netherlands 58.0
2. Arcelor, Luxembourg 51.7
3. Nippon Steel, Tokyo 36.1
4. JFE Holdings, Tokyo 34.5
5. POSCO, Seoul 33.3
6. Shanghai Baosteel Group, Shanghai, China 23.6
7. US Steel, Pittsburgh 21.8
8. Corus Group, London 20.9
9. ThyssenKrupp, Dusseldorf, Germany 18.7
10. Nucor Corp., Charlotte, N.C. 17.0
- Associated Press

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