News In Brief


If Roy Higgins worried about remembering the names of the players when he showed up to umpire a cricket match in northern England earlier this month, he needn't have. The bowler was Patel. So was the wicket keeper. And the third man. In fact, so was everyone else on the Amarmilan team. Not to mention everyone on Yorkshire LPS, the opposing club, as well. "At one point," Higgins recalled, matters threatened to get out of hand "and I said, 'Can Patel please be quiet? They all shut up.'" The Patels, it turns out, have migrated to the area from India's Gujarat state.


In Lagos, Nigeria, Sunday Konchi walked out of jail early last week after spending three days behind bars on suspicion of breaking a neighbor's car windshield with stones. He might have stayed longer if the Justice Ministry hadn't ordered his release, calling the case "a real misunderstanding of the law." So what, you ask? On his last birthday, Sunday turned 4.

The largest of the large: ranking US mass retailers

With sales of more than $193 billion last year, Wal-Mart held its place as the largest US retailer, according to the National Retail Federation, the world's largest trade association. The federation's annual ranking of 100 retailers is based on an industry survey and annual sales. Despite a slowing economy, the retail sector as a whole posted a 7.1 percent gain in 2000 sales over 1999. Analysts noted that retailers are increasingly embracing the "supercenter" approach, crossing categories to capture market share. The 10 biggest US retailers, according to the federation:

1. Wal-Mart

2. Kroger

3. Home Depot

4. Sears

5. Kmart

6. Albertson's

7. Target

8. JCPenny

9. Costco

10. Safeway

- PR Newswire

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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