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"When I went outside," Michael Moore said, "I knew I had messed up." His first clue, as he left a branch of First American National Bank in Athens, Tenn.: A police officer, weapon drawn, was standing in his way. Had Moore robbed the place? No. He'd only inquired about opening a checking account. So why the fuss? Well, it started with the shotgun he was carrying, which he intended to take to a near-by pawnshop. It turned out not to be loaded and he hadn't pointed it at anyone; thus

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the charge against him is merely disorderly conduct.


Speaking of weapons, the Canadian Navy is trying to explain how it neglected to remove a missile launcher from a warship sold for scrap to a US citizen. It's not as though the thing is easily overlooked: It's 10 feet high and has eight barrels. The Navy wants it back. Talk to my lawyer, the buyer says.

States win $200 million in awards for welfare success

President Clinton awarded $200 million in bonus money last weekend to 27 states for "job placement" and "job success" with welfare recipients. The money goes to each of the top 10 states in four categories, based on 1998 data. Indiana was No. 1 in placing the most people in jobs. Minnesota had the most people keeping jobs and increasing earnings, or "job success." Washington had the most improvement in job placement from 1997 to 1998. And Florida showed the most improvement in job success. Each state's share of the $200 million is determined by the size of its federal welfare appropriation. The 10 states showing the most improvement in job placement:

1. Washington

2. Louisiana

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3. Oklahoma

4. Nevada

5. South Dakota

6. West Virginia

7. Minnesota

8. Delaware

9. Massachusetts

10. Rhode Island

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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