If a private citizen was found to have put up his own sign offering directions on a busy highway, what would happen to him? In Richard Ankrom's case, probably nothing. As a public service, he decided it was time to help commuters make the confusing connection from the Harbor Freeway to I-5 in Los Angeles. Once his large green board (embossed with reflective buttons) was ready, he installed it himself in broad daylight. There it remains, even though what he did was highly irregular. California's Department of Transportation may replace his handiwork eventually but won't press charges. Anyway, said Ankrom: "It needed to be done."


A census is supposed to come up with a more or less accurate population count, right? Not in Turkey, apparently. Government statisticians have concluded that the 2000 census recorded at least 3.65 million nonexistent people. Blame seems to fall on local authorities whose budgets are tied to the number of folks in their jurisdictions. So if you see Turkey's population listed at 64.06 million, disregard it until further notice.

Wealthiest cities in Europe: London, Paris lead the list

With a gross domestic product of £158 billion ($232 billion) in 2001, London far outpaced its Western European rivals on a list of the region's biggest economies by Barclays Private Clients, a service of the international banking giant. Frankfurt led in GDP on a per-capita basis, with $68,000. The 10 European cities that generated the most wealth, and their GDP (in billions), according to Barclays:

1. London $232
2. Paris 130
3. Milan, Italy 108
4. Madrid 96
5. Rome 85
6. Berlin 72
7. Hamburg, Germany 67
8. Munich, Germany 66
9. Barcelona, Spain 63
10. Stockholm 54
– Agence France-Presse/ The Guardian

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