News In Brief


When a political party falls from power after ruling for 71 years without interruption, there are bound to be changes down at headquarters. Especially when it has run up a debt of, say, $16 million. So Mexico's Institutional Revolutionary Party has been doing some serious trimming. Such as? Well, hair stylist Antonio Tetzpa. He was on retainer at $750 a month to ensure party bigwigs were always well-coiffed. Not anymore. Tetzpa is still around. But now if staffers want a little off the top, they have to pay.


Every day, somewhere in the world, someone applies for a first driver's license. Then there's Franz Stradal. The Bad Ischl, Austria, resident already has zipped through his written and physical fitness tests and needs only to demonstrate his proficiency behind the wheel for an examining officer. He's confident he will pass on the first try. What's so unusual about that, you ask? Only that Stradal will - on his next birthday - turn 94.

Paying the 'corporate rate' usually means 11 to 15% off

Many a traveler relishes asking a hotel or rental-car agency for the "corporate rate." But these discounts don't just happen; they are usually the result of intensive negotiation. Rochester, Wis.-based Runzheimer International, a consulting firm, surveyed 200 managers to find how much of a markdown they've bargained for with other businesses that serve the traveling public. The results, with the size discount on the left, and the percentage of respondents who said they obtained it on the right:


6 to 10% 22%

11 to 15% 26%

16 to 20% 24%

Car rental rates

6 to 10% 22%

11 to 15% 27%

16 to 20% 19%

21 to 25% 15%

Hotel rates

6 to 10% 16%

11 to 15% 29%

16 to 20% 18%

21 to 25% 18%

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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