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nice of you to drop BY

In Los Angeles, police responding to a burglar alarm arrived a hair too late to catch the suspect on the premises. But nab him they did. In fact, he couldn't have made it easier for them. As we pick up the story, Robert Tompkins apparently had tripped the alarm by venturing onto the roof of a 37-story building at 2 a.m. From there, he stepped off the edge - strapped into a parachute. With the cops watching, the thrill-seeker floated to the ground. Well, most of the way to the ground. He landed atop their cruiser, where he was arrested for trespassing.

ok, guys, you're on

"It's a great draw for people on the fringes," Ian Ferguson said. "They much prefer it to listening to someone prattle on for 20 minutes." So who is Ferguson and what is he referring to? Well, he's the vicar of Trinity Episcopal Church in Westhill, Scotland. And "it" is his idea to employ as many as five Muppet-style puppets in the pulpit to "enliven and illuminate the Christian message." Since he started, attendance at Sunday services is up by more than 30 percent.

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Globalization comes easiest to small nations, index says

Globalization seems to attract protesters based on the assumption that it is perpetrated upon smaller nations by more powerful ones. But according to the 2002 edition of Foreign Policy magazine's annual index of 62 countries, small trading states tend to show higher levels of economic, political, technological, and social integration - the hallmarks of globalization - than their larger neighbors. The US, for example, came in at No. 12. The magazine's 10 most globalized nations:

1. Ireland

2. Switzerland

3. Singapore

4. Netherlands

5. Sweden

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6. Finland

7. Canada

8. Denmark

9. Austria

10. United Kingdom

- Associated Press


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