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HEY, LAY OFF THE DESSERTS!

In Melbourne, Australia, a coin-operated talking scale has been pulled from its spot in a shopping center. Not because it wasn't reading weight accurately. Rather, it was issuing unflattering comments that users complained had insulted them. A preliminary inspection suggests a vandal tampered with the machine.

Who pledged what to help rebuild war-torn Afghanistan

At an international conference in Tokyo Monday, the US and 25 other donors offered about $4 billion of the $15 billion that experts say will be necessary to rebuild Afghanistan. The aid will go for such needs as refugee and disaster assistance, food, fuel, infrastructure projects, removing land mines, and for the expenses of the interim government. The donors, in alphabetical order, and how much each pledged (in millions):

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Aga Khan Development Network $75.0

Asian Development Bank 500.0

Australia 8.5

Britain 288.0

Canada 61.8 (new pledge; $16.5 million already committed for 2002)

China 1.0

European Union 487.0 ($200 million of its own funds; $287 million from members in addition to their own pledges)

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France 24.0

Germany 283.0

India 101.0

Iran 560.0

Ireland 10.0

Italy 40.0

Japan 500.0

Kazakhstan not specified

Kuwait 30.0

Netherlands 68.0

Norway 40.0

Pakistan 100.0

Saudi Arabia 220.0

South Korea 45.0

Spain 100.0

Switzerland 220.0

Turkey 5.0

United Arab Emirates 36.0

US 296.0

World Bank 500.0

- Reuters


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