A test of 'true colors'

With a general election in five months, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder may win or lose by a hair. His own, that is. A dispute over whether the German leader dyes his dark-brown locks has sidelined debate on the weak economy, and made his barber a national celebrity. It all started when Schröder's lawyers sought to block a news agency from repeating the coloring claim – which the chancellor strongly denies. Political opponents dared him to submit a strand for laboratory tests, hinting that a man who would fib about gray temples may not be candid on other matters either.

slow, but no stopping her

"My thighs were suffering, but I was determined to finish" said Jenny Wood Allen, as the nonagenarian great-grandmother from Dundee, Scotland, completed her 16th London Marathon Sunday in 11 hours, 34 minutes. Allen, who began running in her 70s, will "concentrate on shorter distances" from now on.

Dell, Oracle top survey of global manufacturers

Software and technology firms dominate a new index of the world's top 100 manufacturers, based on performance, by Deloitte Research, a unit of consulting and auditing giant Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. The top 10 companies, and where they're based (with industries in parentheses):

1. Dell Computer Corp., Round Rock, Texas

2. Oracle Corp., Redwood City, Calif. (software)

3. Nokia Corp., Espoo, Finland (telecommunications)

4. Anglo American Platinum Corp., Johannesburg, South Africa (mining)

5. Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, Ga.

6. Itochu Techno-Science, Tokyo, Japan (software)

7. Colgate-Palmolive Co., New York (personal care)

8. Siebel Systems Inc., San Mateo, Calif. (software)

9. Amgen Inc, Thousand Oaks, Calif. (biotechnology, drugs)

10. Imperial Tobacco Group PLC, Bristol, United Kingdom

– Business Wire

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