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News In Brief

ROYALTY TO THE RESCUE

If you're motoring through London and your car breaks down, take heart, dear traveler - a prince or two might lend a hand. That's what happened to Simon Thompson last week. He got a royal shock when Prince William and Prince Harry got out of a car, rolled up their sleeves, and helped push his vehicle to the side of the road. "I could not look them in the face," he says, "because I did not want them to feel uncomfortable. But it is amazing when there are two princes pushing your car down the road."

GIVING YOUTH SOME CREDIT

Three-year-old Alessandra Scalise of Rochester, N.Y., has something new to play with besides her teddy bear - the credit card she's received from Charter One Bank. After Alessandra and her two siblings (they're triplets) were sent pre-approved applications, her mother mailed them in as a joke, using "pre-schooler" as their occupations and no Social Security numbers. But Alessandra's was approved - with credit up to $5,000.

Saudi Arabia was the No. 1 buyer of weapons last year

The US retained its title as the world's largest supplier of armaments in 1998 - raising its total sales to $7.1 billion, the Congressional Research Service said in a recent annual review. Russia has seen its exports decline since the end of the Cold War. In 1991, it sold $8.2 billion worth of arms; in 1998, the total was only $1.7 billion. The value of new arms sales worldwide was $23 billion last year, up slightly from $21.4 billion in 1997. Germany ranked second in 1998 arms sales with a $5.5 billion total; France was third at $3 billion. The Top 10 arms purchasers in 1998 (in billions):

1. Saudi Arabia $7.9

2. United Arab Emirates 2.5

3. Malaysia 2.1

4. Egypt 1.2

5. Algeria 0.5

6. Israel 0.5

7. Kuwait 0.5

8. Ethiopia 0.4

9. India 0.4

10. South Korea 0.4

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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