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They could kick themselves

in northern Colombia, the owner of a shoe store called police to report the theft of $16,583 worth of merchandise. But although in such cases the loot is often resold on the black market, there's little reason to expect that to happen this time. Of the 756 shoes - men's as well as women's - taken in the burglary, all were for the right foot. The thieves evidently failed to check a storeroom, where the matching left shoes were locked away.

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Next time you see someone picking through trash for aluminum cans, think of Ruth Hana. The Milwaukee Human Services Department retiree hunts for them out of a need for money. But it's a self- imposed need - to help local charities. She's already past the halfway mark in her goal to recycle 1 million cans. The deposits collected on them: more than $24,000 to date.

Most Americans say they're not worried about Y2K woes

With just 157 days remaining 'til year's end, most Americans appear confident that computer-related problems will affect them in only minor ways - if at all - a new survey shows. In a poll of 1,008 adults, the Associated Press found respondents over 65 twice as confident as those under 35 that such glitches will not disrupt their lives. The survey was conducted between July 16 and 21. There were no participants from Alaska or Hawaii. Among the findings:

There will be no problems 18%

Problems will be minor 66%

Problems will be major 11%

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Problems will be serious enough that I'm stocking up on food and other essentials 31%

Banking will be most affected 31%

I'm leaving only the minimum in my bank accounts 25%

My money stays in the bank 69%

Electrical service will be most affected 26%

Transportation will be most affected 12%

Food distribution will be most affected 11%

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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