News In Brief


Vietnam's ruling Communist Party apparently has decided it just isn't good enough anymore to rely on cassette tapes, or even bands, for the national anthem and the party's "Internationale." No, officials have ordered members to sing the pieces at meetings. Perhaps anticipating a few, well, awkward performances, the official Hanoi Moi newspaper encouraged some members to take singing courses. But as a reward, the paper said, they would be allowed to use - as an accompaniment only - recorded music.


The world may send off its first space tourist soon. Dennis Tito, a California million-aire, has been cleared by Russian doctors to begin training for a visit to Russia's Mir space station, reports Itar-Tass news agency. Tito has agreed to pay $20 million for a mid-2001 trip, which is expected to take seven to 10 days. Other commercial projects planned for the rest of Mir's life include advertising, scientific research carried out by Russian cosmonauts, and yes, more vacations like Tito's.

At a reported 62.5 million, AOL has most online users

It shouldn't be too surprising that Internet heavyweights America Online, Microsoft, and Yahoo topped the list of the most-visited Web sites last month. That's according to Media Metrix, a New York-based Internet metering company. What may be more noteworthy is that Napster, the embattled music file-swapping company, broke into the top 50 for the first time with 5.4 million visitors, making it No. 47. July's top 10 Web properties and the number of unique visitors that Media Metrix reported for each (in millions):

1. AOL Network 62.5

2. Microsoft 50.3

3. Yahoo 49.0

4. Lycos 32.1

5. Excite Network 27.1

6. Go Network 21.8

7. sites 18.3

8. AltaVista 17.4

9. Time Warner Online 16.4

10. NBC Internet 15.4

- Reuters

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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