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NEED A LITTLE TIME OFF? How does a whole year away from work - at double your pay - sound? Far-fetched, right? Wrong. The British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) is offering just such a prize to the top finisher in its "millennium quiz" contest. All finalists will be informed two weeks early of their status as potential winner ... providing enough time to notify employers it's possible that they will be absent for the next 12 months. No, BBC employees are not eligible.

THEY THREW THE BOOK AT HIM In Albania, which has a recent history of lawlessness, Edmond Koseni is known as the "iron chief" because he heads the police department in Elbasan, considered the safest city in the country. Unfortunately for him, that cut no ice with the folks who run the national Police Academy. He flunked its exam, so he has been ordered to repeat his coursework.

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Two-seater found stingiest among 2000-model cars

The Environmental Protection Agency has found the Honda Insight, which arrives at US showrooms in December, the most efficient among more than 800 vehicles of the 2000 model year. The two-seat Japanese import is powered by gasoline and electricity and gets 61 miles per gallon in city driving and 70 on the open road. Other vehicles rated best in fuel use in various categories, with their respective miles-per-gallon figures:

Subcompact VW New Beetle (diesel) 42/49

Compact Volkswagen Jetta/Golf (diesel) 42/49

Minicompact Audi TT Coupe 22/31

Midsize Mazda 626 26/32

Minivans Dodge Caravan, Plymouth Voyager 20/26

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Sport Utility Vehicle (2-wheel dr) Chevrolet Tracker, Suzuki Vitara 25/28

Sport Utility Vehicle (4-wheel dr) Chevrolet Tracker, Suzuki Vitara 25/27- - Associated Press

Compiled by Robert Kilborn and Lance Carden

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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