Ready ... set ... go!

Perhaps you remember the headline-grabbing political turmoil back in March in Kyrgyz-stan, the former Soviet republic. If so, you may be interested to know that the fallout from it apparently isn't over yet. Now comes word that acting President Kurmanbek Bakiev, who occupies the office formerly held by the ousted Askar Akayev, has decreed a new policy for members of parliament. Each must pass a set of tough physical challenges if he wishes to be judged - ahem - fit to continue in politics. Among these: weightlifting, marksmanship, and grenade-throwing. Kyrgyzstan, Bakiev said, ought to have a culture of "healthy living" - from the top down.

Do you love fine art? Then don't miss New Hope, Pa.

For the past eight years, AmericanStyle, a lifestyle magazine published in Baltimore, has rated the best 25 destinations in the US for art enthusiasts and collectors. The latest, not surprisingly, ranks New York No. 1 again, the fifth time readers have voted it that honor. This time, however, the magazine expanded the rankings to give smaller communities an opportunity for recognition. Cities, therefore, are grouped into three size categories, based on population. The best places for art fanciers to travel in the US, by population, according to American Style magazine:

More than 500,000 people

1. New York
2. Chicago
3. San Francisco
4. Washington
5. Los Angeles

100,000 to 499,999
1. New Orleans
2. Albuquerque, N.M.
3. Scottsdale, Ariz.
4. Las Vegas
5. Honolulu

Fewer than 100,000
1. New Hope/Lahaska, Pa.
2. Berkeley Springs, W.Va.
3. Saugatuck, Mich.
4. Tubac, Ariz.
5. Eureka Springs, Ark.

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