Let's assume you're a pilot for an international airline on a flight to Israel. What should you not say over the intercom system as you land in Tel Aviv? How about this announcement by the captain of an Alitalia jet from Rome earlier this month: "Welcome to Pal-estine!" Not surprisingly, his words shook the passengers, not to mention the carrier's Israeli employees. Yes, there were letters of complaint to Italy's national airline and demands for an explanation. Oh, and one other thing: Steps are being taken to ensure he never flies to the Jewish state again.


Are you a parent who worries that your offspring spend way too much time playing video games? If so, the results of a new study would suggest that you're ... in the minority. The Interactive Digital Software Association, which polled 1,350 households nationwide, says its research found two-thirds of parents believe the games affect their children's lives positively. And 60 percent said they sit down at a console with the kids at least once a month.

Despite fitful economy, US is still top competitive country

As debate rages between the White House and Congress over how to stimulate the economy, the US is winning kudos abroad for its market edge. The US was named the most competitive large country (those with populations above 20 million) in the latest annual survey by Switzerland's IMD business school - a title it has held since 1994. Finland took the top spot among small states in the evaluation of economic performance, government and business efficiency, education, and other factors. The top 10 big nations:

1. US
2. Australia
3. Canada
4. Malaysia
5. Germany
6. Taiwan
7. Britain
8. France
9. Spain
10. Thailand - Associated Press

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