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HA, HA; THAT'S REALLY AMUSING

There are April Fools' jokes, and then there's the hoax that readers of a newspaper in Baghdad, Iraq, were subjected to Sunday. Babel reported on Page 1 that Iraqis, who have lived under UN economic sanctions since Aug. 6, 1990, were to be given far more-generous rations of meat. The sanctions were applied four days after President Saddam Hussein's troops invaded Kuwait. Only on the back page did the newspaper reveal that the "news" wasn't correct. Babel's owner: Uday Hussein, the eldest son of Saddam. Two years ago on April 1, an official Iraqi paper told readers that bananas, soft drinks, and chocolate were on the way when they weren't.

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US population champ: It's Los Angeles County again

Los Angeles County kept its title as the most populous in the US, with at least 9.5 million people in 2000, new figures from the Census Bureau show. That's up 7.4 percent from 1990. Cook County, Ill., home to Chicago and its suburbs, was No. 2, with 5.4 million people. But no major county grew faster than Arizona's Maricopa: a whopping 45 percent since 1990. The largest counties by population:

Los Angeles (Calif.) 9,519,338

Cook (Illinois) 5,376,741

Harris (Texas) 3,400,578

Maricopa (Arizona) 3,072,149

Orange (Calif.) 2,846,289

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San Diego (Calif.) 2,813,833

Kings (New York) 2,465,326

Miami-Dade (Fla.) 2,253,362

Queens (New York) 2,229,379

Dallas (Texas) 2,218,899

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor


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