News In Brief


Britain's Defense Ministry is on a cost-cutting mission, and one thing that has been reassessed is firing practice at a gunnery school in Plymouth. Royal Navy recruits there can still check coordinates, line up targets, and prepare to fire. But instead of using live shells, each of which costs almost $1,000, the sailors are under orders to shout "bang." "It's like being a kid again, playing cowboys and Indians," grumped one embarrassed recruit. A Navy spokesman explained that the school is marked for closure in a year anyway.


Even if you spill a beverage on your computer's hard drive or accidentally send a floppy disk through the wash, all may not be lost. In tests, PC Welt, a Munich, Germany-based magazine, played out those scenarios, and a data recovery lab still was able to retrieve most of the information. But such recovery doesn't come cheap, running to the hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Small kids call the shots in clothes-buying, survey finds

Young children hold a surprising degree of influence over the clothes their parents buy for them, a new survey found. The NPD Group, a market research firm based in Port Washington, N.Y., polled 2,500 mothers with children 10 years and younger to determine their clothes-buying habits. Seventy-one percent said their child's wishes "are very influential" - a finding that could spur clothing manufacturers to target even more of their advertising at the small set. The top three brands by age group, as reported by their mothers:

2 and under

1. OshKosh B'Gosh

2. Gap Kids/Baby Gap

3. Carters

3 to 5

1. OshKosh B'Gosh

2. Disney

3. Levi's

6 to 10

1. Levi's

2. Arizona

3. Basic Editions

- Reuters

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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