Sorry, claim denied

"I was," Johnny Vaughan said, "too shocked to be angry." So, who's he and what was it that so affected him? Well, that would be the wrecking of his $96,000 Maserati in London. It seems the BBC-TV celebrity was returning with his dog from a trip to a veterinarian when he stopped and exited because the animal seemed to be feeling the call of nature. But he left the engine running, and the dog chose that moment to bump against the gearshift, pushing it into drive, and then to hop from the seat onto the gas pedal, slamming the car into a truck. It's repairable - just not with Vaughan's insurance company paying the tab.

Oh, don't go there

Flying to an Asian destination anytime soon? You might want to reconsider your plan. The Center for Asia-Pacific Aviation reports that airlines in the region lose a passenger's luggage every 90 seconds.

Surprise! News pros vote Iraq as No. 1 story of 2002

A survey of journalists from around the world has identified "the Iraq crisis" as the year's No. 1 news story. The Associated Press, which conducted the poll of 97 newspaper editors, broadcasters, and news agencies from 37 countries (not including the US), counted 41 first-place votes for the various aspects of the Iraq story. The next-closest was the Oct. 12 terrorist bombing on the Indonesian tourist island of Bali, although that story ended up fourth on the basis of points awarded on a sliding scale: 10 for a first-place vote; 1 for a 10th-place vote. The top 10 news stories of 2002, according to the survey results:

1. Iraq crisis
2. Israel-Palestinian conflict
3. Seizure of Moscow theater by Chechen militants
4. Bali nightclub bombing
5. US corporate scandals
6. 10 more countries invited to join European Union
7. Washington-area snipers
8. China elects new leaders
9. US counterterrorism war
10. Aftermath of Afghanistan war

Today's quote

'It's more like a reminder that an incident like this could happen.'

- FBI spokesman Bill Carter, asked whether the bureau's new advisory on the continued interest of terrorists

in bringing down jetliners via explosives hidden in their shoes or clothing should be considered a warning.

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