You've no doubt heard about the dark side of professional soccer: the unruly behavior of fans in the stands as well as in the streets outside. So it probably comes as no surprise that, in Britain at least, a code of conduct is in the works at the sport's governing body, the Football Association (FA). Ah, but it won't apply to the paying customers. Instead, it's for team mascots - the guys who dress in furry costumes for the amusement of spectators. It seems their own brawling and - ahem - uncouth displays of bare flesh directed at followers of rival teams have reached the point that the FA says it's time for "something ... that will show what [they] should and should not be doing."


In Chongqing, China, the world's largest billboard - it's 985 feet long by 148 feet high - is to be torn down without once being rented. Why? Because it's shrouded in almost- constant fog, so if an ad were posted, no one could see it.

What upset US consumers most over the past year

Auto sales and problems with household goods were the leading sources of consumer complaints last year, an annual survey by the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators and the Consumer Federation of America found. The No. 1 finisher in 1999, home-improvement contractors, fell to third place in the latest report. Many gripes about auto sales involved financing, whereas those relating to household goods typically concerned defective products, deceptive advertising, or failure to honor warranties. Last year's top sources of consumer complaints, according to the survey:

1. Automobile dealers

(tie) Household goods retailers

3. Home-improvement contractors

4. Auto repair shops

5. Credit/lending institutions

6. Debt-collection agencies

7. Utilities

8. Internet commerce

(tie) Landlords

(tie) Telemarketers

- Associated Press

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