The Washington, D.C., Police Department doesn't recruit in Sweden. But if it did, Bosse Ringholm might make a good candidate. Why just last week he helped to catch an alleged bank robber who still had the stolen cash in his possession. Ringholm, the Swedish finance minister, was in town for a meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund when the vehicle he was riding in was slammed by a car driven by the suspect. The impact set off a smoke grenade and a red-dye capsule designed to make the loot unspendable ... and to attract the attention of police, who soon arrived on the scene. Ringholm called the ordeal "extremely dramatic."


In business, there are conscientious vendors, and then there's Siemens. The German engineering giant, which is building $1.4 billion worth of trains for a British commuter line, wants no unpleasant surprises. So it has spent 1 percent of the sale price to replicate Britain's dilapidated track system to make sure the new rolling stock can handle such problems as gaps in the rails and an erratic electricity supply. It's even using Fiberglas resin to simulate icy rails.

New York tops list of states where income gap is widest

Income disparity – and what to do about it – is a subject of endless debate. Likely to add fuel to the argument is a report by the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and Economic Policy Institute that in 45 of 50 states over the past 20 years income gaps grew. In states where the gap was widest, the top 20 percent of residents earned more that 10 times as much as the poorest 20 percent. The center's top 10:

1. New York 12.8 times

2. Louisiana 11.6

3. Texas 11.0

(tie) California 11.0

5. Massachusetts 10.5

(tie) Tennessee 10.5

7. Kentucky 10.4

8. Alabama 10.2

9. Arizona 10.0

(tie) North Carolina 10.0

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