'Yes, it's dangerous here'

Some of the journalists who keep the world informed about the war in Iraq have been shot at, along with the military units they accompany. Others have watched from atop hotels in Baghdad as bombs fall near them. Then there's Phesheya Dube, Swaziland Radio's correspondent. His "live" accounts from the Iraqi capital led on-air personnel back at the station to urge that he "find a cave somewhere" to avoid incoming missiles. Until, that is, he was caught delivering one of his reports from ... the safety of his own country's Parliament House. The Ministry of Information says it will investigate.

Must I sing in these skates?

If you're a fan of the National Hockey League, you probably know about the feats of Jaro-mir Jagr and Dominik Hasek. But you may not know that the two superstars are to be commemorated ... in an opera. An opera? Yes, because they led their Czech national team to a surprise gold medal in the 1998 Olympic Winter Games. Said the artistic director of the National Theater in Prague: "It is a kind of modern Czech legend, and operas have always been based on legends."

Wal-Mart widens lead as the biggest of big US companies

Discount retail titan Wal-Mart held onto the top spot in Fortune magazine's latest annual ranking of the 500 largest US corporations. Wal-Mart managed 12 percent growth, the magazine noted, in a year when the overall 500 shrank 6 percent, on average. Fortune's top 10, and their respective 2002 earnings (in billions):

1. Wal-Mart Stores $246.5
2. General Motors 186.8
3. Exxon Mobil 182.5
4. Ford Motor Co. 163.6
5. General Electric 131.7
6. Citigroup 100.8
7. ChevronTexaco 92.0
8. International Business Machines (IBM) 83.1
9. American International Group (AIG) 67.7
10. Verizon Communications 67.6
- Associated Press

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