It's better over there

You may know about the flak that senior US administrator Paul Bremer has taken from critics because some sections of Iraq don't yet have a reliable supply of electricity. But you may not have heard about his experience last week when he returned to Washington to testify before members of Congress about the reconstruction effort he supervises. When he arrived home in Washington he discovered it, too, had no power, thanks to hurricane Isabel.

Sorry to drop in like this

In Decatur, Ga., a suspect in an obstruction-of-justice case found himself before a judge even sooner than expected. As we pick up the story, Ben Rogozensky took advantage of a restroom visit to climb into a crawl space in DeKalb County Courthouse. Alas, en route to his escape the ceiling beneath him gave way and he fell 10 feet into the chambers of His Honor J. Antonio DelCampo ... who now has a new charge to add to the defendant's rap sheet.

Top-selling sodas: Coke is still 'it' in a fizzling market

Classic Coke remains the undisputed leader among US soft drinks, outselling Pepsi, its closest rival, by more than 680 million cases in 2002, according to the trade magazine Beverage Digest. Both, however, experienced a sales decline - by 2 percent and 4 percent, respectively - in a flat year for the fizzy drinks market, another possible sign of a shift toward heathier foods. Among the leading sodas, only diet versions of Coke, Pepsi, and Dr Pepper made gains. Beverage Digest's top 10 brands last year, by number of cases sold (in millions):

1. Coke Classic 1.9 billion
2. Pepsi-Cola 1.2 billion
3. Diet Coke 905
4. Mountain Dew 648
5. Sprite 630
6. Dr. Pepper 597
7. Diet Pepsi 552
8. 7UP 175
9. Caffeine-free Diet Coke 168
10. Diet Dr. Pepper 111 - Associated Press

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