UPDATE I: Remember Mohamad Saed al-Sahaf, Iraq's ex-information minister, alias "Baghdad Bob," alias "Comical Ali" because of his eccentric news briefings during the war? Alas, since the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, Sahaf is out of work. He can't even get himself arrested, since he's not on the US list of the 55 most-wanted members of the dictator's inner circle. Ah, but now comes word that he has a job if he wants it. Al-Arabiya, a satellite-TV channel based in Dubai, is offering to hire him as a commentator in order "to benefit from [his] experience and his analysis."
UPDATE II: Speaking of jobs, Jane Puckey apparently doesn't have one after all. She was featured in this space April 24 after being hired to reopen a school in the Shetland Islands. But the mother of the only pupil isn't a Puckey fan, is miffed that she wasn't consulted, and refuses to send her child there. So the deal is off.
When it comes to charitable giving, residents of Western and Midwestern cities outstrip their Eastern brethren, according to results of a new study published in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Churches, synagogues, and other houses of worship and religious causes were the top beneficiaries, receiving over 75 percent of donations. The five most and least generous metropolitan areas in the study (which analyzed tax data from 1997), by percentage of disposable income donated:
1. Salt Lake City 14.9%
2. Grand Rapids, Mich. 10.0
3. Minneapolis-St. Paul 8.5 (tie) Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point, N.C.
5. Memphis, Tenn. 8.4 (tie) Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
1. Hartford, Conn. 4.7
2. Providence, R.I. 5.1
3. Boston 5.2
4. Buffalo, N.Y. 5.8
5. New Orleans 5.9