News In Brief


Already there have been dog sled racing, gliding, roller hockey, and - at this year's Olympics in Sydney, Australia - trampolining. Next, apparently: ballroom dancing, which won official recognition in 1997. Now comes a proposal that the International Olympic Committee designate as a demonstration sport - don't laugh - laughing. The request has been submitted by the Laughter Club of Bombay, one of many across India, where they're an outlet for "ridding people of tension." Word from the IOC is that the proposal is "under consideration."


Workers in a supermarket in Antibes, France, were forbidden by the boss to go near a malfunctioning automated teller machine that - before it could be fixed - was dispensing twice the cash requested by users. On the other hand, news reports say, the same executive happily allowed beneficiaries to spend their windfall on groceries for Christmas.

Bush-Gore election is rated the top news story of 2000

Confusion accompanied the US presidential election, but not its selection as the Associated Press's news story of the year. Fifty AP subscribers in 19 countries voted from a list of nominations, with 10 points awarded for a first-place vote, nine for second, and so on. The US election won 20 first-place votes, more than double any other story. The AP's top stories of 2000 and the total points for each:

1. US election 400

2. Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic toppled 275

3. Violence threatens Middle East peace process 220

4. Explosion sinks Russian nuclear submarine Kursk 197

5. South Korea/North Korea summit 189

6. First mapping of human genetic code 158

7. Russia elects Vladimir Putin as president 154

8. Concorde jet crashes in France 114

9. Oil prices soar 98

10. 'Mad cow' disease scare in Europe 69

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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