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When an emergency aid package arrives for North Koreans this week, it likely will be music to their ears - in more ways than one. To help the famine-stricken country, a South Korean charity bundled up a few predicable basics, like flour. But also rounded up was something quite out of the ordinary: at least 10 karaoke machines. They were collected by electronics traders who hoped to "contribute to inter-Korean reconciliation."

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CAN'T READ 31/12/00

Thought the Y2K bug had been exterminated long ago? Apparently not. The computer glitch struck a Norwegian railroad company - a year late. None of the company's high-speed or express trains would start Dec. 31 because computers didn't recognize the date. As a temporary solution, engineers reset

'Cast Away' helps push box office to record year

The box office finished 2000 with a bang. During the final weekend, the top 12 movies grossed an estimated $128.5 million, up 24 percent from the same period in 1999. The finish helped push revenues for the year to a record $7.7 billion. But 2000 wasn't perfect: The box office sagged during the summer, and movie attendance is estimated to have fallen as much as 3 percent. The top films (in millions) at North American theaters for the extended New Year's weekend, according to box-office tracker Exhibitor Relations Inc.:

1. Cast Away $40.0

2. What Women Want 26.4

3. Miss Congeniality 19.2

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4. The Family Man 16.7

5. The Emperor's New Groove 14.7

6. Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas 9.0

7. Vertical Limit 8.3

8. Wes Craven Presents: Dracula 2000 7.3

9. Dude, Where's My Car? 5.8

10. All the Pretty Horses 4.9

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society


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