News In Brief

HONEY, GUESS WHAT HAPPENED Somewhere in Taiwan is a man trying hard to deal with embarrassment. Reports say the fellow had fallen deeply asleep in his Mercedes sedan after a night on the town and didn't realize thieves were helping themselves to the car. Because of the darkness, the bad guys apparently didn't see him either. When he awoke hours later he and the car were inside a warehouse in mainland China - with other stolen luxury vehicles. He wasn't harmed, but the people at the warehouse wouldn't return the Mercedes. And it took three days to arrange a ride back to Taiwan aboard a cargo ship.

COMPLETELTY UNREHEARSED If you go to see the new Chevy Chase/Pam Grier movie, "Snow Day," here's one scene that probably won't be in it. During filming on location in Calgary, Alberta, police pursued a car driven by two robbery suspects onto the set - a residential street - where it crashed. There were no serious injuries, but the thieves were quickly arrested and an undisclosed amount of cash was recovered ... none of which was called for in the script.

World airports busier in '98, despite Asia economic crisis

Airports handled more than 2.8 billion passengers last year - an increase of 2.9 percent over 1997, according to Airports Council International, a Geneva-based association. The rise in activity occurred despite the economic crisis that lowered passenger traffic in the Asia-Pacific region by 5.6 percent to 427 million. A ranking of the busiest airports and regions, based on Airports Council figures for the total number of passengers each of them served in 1998 (in millions):

Busiest airports

1. Atlanta Hartsfield 73.5

2. Chicago O'Hare 72.3

3. Los Angeles 61.2

4. London Heathrow 60.7

Busiest regions

1. North America 1.3 billion

2. Europe 867

3. Asia-Pacific 427

4. Latin America/Caribbean 120

- Associated Press

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