False alarm

It's the same concept as the test patterns that TV stations in the US used to put on the screen when their broadcast day was over: a continuously burning log that's featured on Germany's Super RTL network from 3 a.m. 'til 6 a.m. But in the city of Lübeck last week, the fire department responded to an emergency call from a woman who'd dozed off in front of the set and woke up seeing flames that she thought were in her home. Said a spokes-man for the department: "[We] rushed in and extinguished the blaze ... using the remote."

I was Just tryin' to help out

"He had to know he was going to get caught," a Syracuse, N.Y., police officer said after his colleagues took a suspect into custody. For a robbery? For dealing drugs? Nope. Instead, he was charged with impersonating a cop, which he'd apparently been doing for two years as a "volunteer." His downfall came when he pulled over a pickup truck, whose occupants then fled on foot, and he called for backup. Alas, when help arrived it quickly became clear our guy wasn't a policeman.

Power deals in heels ... and the women who make them

Despite increasingly tough competition, Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina kept her top spot on Fortune's list of the 50 most powerful women in business for a sixth straight year. Among newcomers to the 2003 rankings were executives at Fox Broadcasting, Johnson & Johnson, and Wal-Mart. The magazine evaluated businesswomen by the size and importance of their companies, how much clout they wield within them, their career arcs, and their influence on mass culture. Fortune's top 10, and their respective firms:

1. Carly Fiorina, Hewlett-Packard
2. Meg Whitman, eBay
3. Andrea Jung, Avon Products
4. Anne Mulcahy, Xerox
5. Marjorie Magner, Citigroup
6. Karen Katen, Pfizer
7. Oprah Winfrey, Harpo Inc.
8. Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo
9. Pat Woertz, ChevronTexaco
10. Betsy Holden, Kraft Foods - Business Wire

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