HEY, LAY OFF THE DESSERTS!
In Melbourne, Australia, a coin-operated talking scale has been pulled from its spot in a shopping center. Not because it wasn't reading weight accurately. Rather, it was issuing unflattering comments that users complained had insulted them. A preliminary inspection suggests a vandal tampered with the machine.
At an international conference in Tokyo Monday, the US and 25 other donors offered about $4 billion of the $15 billion that experts say will be necessary to rebuild Afghanistan. The aid will go for such needs as refugee and disaster assistance, food, fuel, infrastructure projects, removing land mines, and for the expenses of the interim government. The donors, in alphabetical order, and how much each pledged (in millions):
Aga Khan Development Network $75.0
Asian Development Bank 500.0
Canada 61.8 (new pledge; $16.5 million already committed for 2002)
European Union 487.0 ($200 million of its own funds; $287 million from members in addition to their own pledges)
Kazakhstan not specified
Saudi Arabia 220.0
South Korea 45.0
United Arab Emirates 36.0
World Bank 500.0