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Talk about paid vacations! The mayor of Kaafjord, a village in northern Norway, is proposing a solution to the local population problem. Summoning his best political instincts, Aage Pederson says he wants to subsidize pleasure trips for his 200 or so bachelor constituents ... to places as far away as Asia. The whole idea is that they'd use the opportunity to find and bring back wives, who would then bear children. Kaafjord, you see, has only about 2,500 inhabitants left. About 40 each year - most of them young women - go off to study or work in cities south of the Arctic Circle. As is common with politicians' spending initiatives, however, there's no word on where the money to pay the subsidies would come from.

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Panel ranks America's best journalism of 20th century

John Hersey's "Hiroshima" heads a list of books, articles, columns, collected works, photographs, and TV reports chosen recently as 100 examples of the best in US journalism of the 20th century. The panel making the selection was assembled by the journalism school at New York University and included its faculty plus 17 outside journalists. Their top 10 selections:

1. John Hersey: "Hiroshima" - The New Yorker 1946

2. Rachel Carson: "Silent Spring" - The New Yorker 1962

3. Bob Woodward/Carl Bernstein: Investigation of Watergate break-in - The Washington Post 1972-73

4. Edward R. Murrow: Battle of Britain - CBS 1940

5. Ida Tarbell: "The History of the Standard Oil Company" - McClure's 1902-04

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6. Lincoln Steffens: "The Shame of the Cities" - McClure's 1902-04

7. John Reed: "Ten Days That Shook the World" (book) 1919

8. H.L. Mencken: Scopes trial - The Sun (Baltimore) 1925

9. Ernie Pyle: Reports from Europe and Pacific during World War II - Scripps-Howard newspapers 1940-45

10. Edward R. Murrow: Fred Friendly investigation of Sen. Joseph McCarthy - CBS 1954

- Associated Press

Compiled by Robert Kilborn and Lance Carden

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