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Perhaps it was inevitable: a Mohamad Saed al-Sahaf talking doll. You remember him - the Iraqi communications chief who became the butt of TV talk -show jokes for insisting day after day in his news briefings that US forces didn't threaten the capital ... even though their tanks could be seen clearly in the background. His whereabouts are unknown now. But if you miss his colorful commentary, for $39.95, Hero-builders.com, a Connecticut company, will sell you its "Iraqi Dis-information Minister Action Figure Doll" (complete with fatigue uniform and black beret). Then, as often as you like, you can hear his digitized voice chip say: "They're not even within 100 miles of Baghdad."

Magazine questions top pay for CEOs of struggling firms

American Airlines again appears threatened with bankruptcy in a dispute with unions over the salaries and benefits of its top executives. But, according to Fortune magazine, intense pressure to limit such compensation has achieved partial success across the corporate spectrum. Based on data from 100 of the largest US companies, Fortune said the average chief executive's compensation fell 23 percent in 2002, to $15.7 million. Still, some continue to accept huge pay and benefits packages despite generating weak returns for shareholders. Fortune's top 10 executives in the latter category and the value of their annual compensation (in millions):

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1. Steve Jobs, Apple Computer $78.1
2. David Cote, Honeywell Inc. 68.5
3. John Chambers, Cisco Systems 54.8
4. Pat Russo, Lucent Technologies 38.2
5. Jeff Barbakow, Tenet Healthcare 35.0
6. David D'Alessandro, John Hancock Financial Services 34.3
7. Scott McNealy, Sun Microsystems 31.7
8. Miles White, Abbott Laboratories 30.4
9. Hank Greenberg, American International Group 29.2
10. Alain Belda, Alcoa 24.8


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