News In Brief
WOW, YOU DID THIS FOR US?
Chao Vang was rushing to put the trash at the curb for pickup and didn't think twice about the white plastic bag his wife had filled. But that bag wasn't trash: It contained their life savings - $11,000 in cash - and was soon irretrievably buried in the Appleton, Wis., landfill. But as news spread about what happened, others took heart. Donations to a fund set up for the couple now have topped $35,000. The couple say they'll keep only enough to cover what they lost. The rest will be used to help the local immigrant Hmong community.
I FEEL BETTER, YOUR HONOR
Aromatherapy. Soothing music. Soft lights. No, this isn't a New Age relaxation session; it's a courtroom in Curitiba, Brazil. Jurist Roberto Portugal, also known as the "Zen Judge," devised it to encourage feuding parties to reconcile their differences. It's apparently working: About 70 percent of litigants settle out of court now, compared with 50 percent before.
WHERE WORLD TRAVELERS CAN FIND FIRST-CLASS HOTEL SERVICE
Hotels that merely put a mint on a pillow probably didn't qualify for Travel & Leisure magazine's fourth annual ranking of those that offer the world's best service. Based on a survey of readers, the publication ranked leading hotels on a 100-point scale. The 10 earning the top grades, their locations, and scores:
1. The Peninsula, Hong Kong 94.0
2. The Oriental, Hong Kong 93.2
3. Ritz-Carlton, San Juan Hotel, Spa & Casino, Puerto Rico 91.4
4. Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong 91.3
5. Villa d'Este, Cernobbio, Italy 91.2
6. Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii 91.0
7. Four Seasons, Singapore 90.4
8. Amandari, Bali, Indonesia 89.9
8. Four Seasons Resort, Hualalai, Hawaii 89.9
10. The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. 89.8
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