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Feathered Friend-ship No bird-brain jokes, please, but the Japanese are finding high humor in the behavior of an albatross whose attempts at romance are going completely unrewarded. For two years now on a small island south of Tokyo, this seabird - we'll call him Deko - has been observed by surveillance cameras building elaborate nests for, chasing other winged visitors away from, and standing indefatigably beside what he clearly intends will be his mate. Scientists are using the island for a project to attract endangered albatrosses in the hope they'll reproduce. Unfortunately for Deko, the object of his affections is a wooden decoy, one of many used in the project. "He seems," says a spokesman, "to have no desire to date real birds."

Hong Kong tops survey of world's highest rents Major Asian cities generally are the world's most expensive - and Hong Kong is the costliest of all - for employees of foreign-owned businesses to rent housing in, results of a new survey indicate. On average, a four-room apartment in the former British colony costs $8,026 a month, according to Employment Conditions Abroad International (ECA). ECA is a London-based consulting firm to corporations that need to establish or maintain offices in foreign countries. The world's 10 most-expensive cities for renters - seven of which are Asian - and the monthly expense of renting a four-room home in each:

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1. Hong Kong $8,026

2. Beijing 6,560

3. Bombay 5,727

4. Tokyo 5,257

5. Shanghai 5,232

6. Seoul 4,935

7. London 4,762

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8. Taipei, Taiwan 4,662

9. New York 4,586

10. Moscow 4,509

- Deutsch Press Association

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