News In Brief


It seemed a simple act: chucking out junk mail not interesting enough to rate a second glance. Except, in the process Sue Quirke shredded something that shouldn't have been in the trash - her tax rebate. The Milwaukee resident didn't realize the error until a co-worker showed her what the envelope containing the check looked like. Understandably upset, Quirke taped the check together again. But her bank wouldn't honor it. All is not lost, however. Anyone who accidentally destroys one of the checks, which average $271, may ask the state revenue department to replace it.


What, do you suppose, Elvis Presley and former President Jimmy Carter could possibly have had in common ... other than being Southerners? If the calculations of the folks who operate a genealogical Web site in San Francisco are correct, Carter and the late rock 'n' roll king are distant descendants of the same 18th-century German immigrant to the US - making them sixth cousins once removed.

The winner - and still US patent champion: IBM

For the seventh straight year, more patents were issued to International Business Machines Corp. by the Department of Commerce's Patent and Trademark Office in 1999 than to any other company, according to a report by the tracking organization IFI Claims Patent Services. But while IBM bettered its own year-old record by almost 3 percent, only two other US companies, Motorola and Lucent Technologies, made the top 10. All others are Asian-owned. The list:

1. IBM 2,756

2. NEC Corp. 1,853

3. Canon Inc. 1,798

4. Samsung Electronics Co. 1,541

5. Sony Corp. 1,427

6. Fujitsu Ltd. 1,230

7.Toshiba Corp. 1,225

8. Motorola Inc. 1,205

9. Lucent Technologies 1,155

10. Mitsubishi Electric Corp. 1,087

- Reuters

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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