Oh, it's you again

"For me, all cases are equal," Judge Elena Lala said. But she acknowledged that one plaintiff, in particular, seemed to be turning up in her courtroom in Focsani, Romania, awfully frequently. That would be Sandu Gurguiatu, who, over the past four years, filed dozens of lawsuits because he'd become smitten and could think of no better way to keep seeing her since she's married ... to someone else. Gurguiatu often lost, but did win a few - among them an order forcing his employer to provide towels and enough soap for the washroom at work - before finally realizing that he was wasting the court's time as well as his own.

Elected US presidents who first paid their VEEP dues

Regardless of what happens in the Nov. 2 election, John Edwards, John Kerry's choice for vice-president, appears to have a bright political future ahead of him. He should be reminded, however, that as often as not the job does not lead to the presidency. The nation's second in command has only 14 times gone on to occupy the White House, and only three times been elected to serve two full terms (Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Richard Nixon). Mostly, in recent years, the vice president - be it Hubert Humphrey, Spiro Agnew, Nelson Rockefeller, Walter Mondale, Dan Quayle, or Al Gore - has fallen off the presidential radar screen for various reasons. The vice-presidents who were later elected president, and the years they served in the Oval Office:

John Adams 1797-1801

Thomas Jefferson 1801-09
Martin Van Buren 1837-41
Millard Fillmore 1850-53
Andrew Johnson 1865-69
Chester Arthur 1881-85
Theodore Roosevelt 1901-09
Calvin Coolidge 1923-29
Harry Truman 1945-53
Lyndon Johnson 1963-69
Richard Nixon 1969-74
George H.W. Bush 1989-93 - The World Almanac and Book of Facts 2004

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