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Etc...

I hope you all enjoyed it

One of the attractions for the 10,000 or so folks who paid up to $20 each last week to attend a Boston Pops concert on Cape Cod was to be a medley of hit songs by writer Carole King. Alas, those who came to hear it ... left disappointed. No "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?" No "You Light Up My Life." Reason: no time. The guest conductor was actor/ political activist Ed Asner, who felt the need to blast the cuts in federal funding for the arts - at such length that the union limit for the concert expired.

Oil wealth, democracy don't mix easily, surveys show

One stated goal of the war in Iraq was to replace Saddam Hussein's dictatorship with democratic rule, even as critics pointed to Iraq's vast oil wealth as the likely source of US interest. Recent studies suggest countries that rely on oil exports have populations that are poorer and less free than those with diverse economies. The 10 nations with the largest percentages of the world's proven reserves in 2002, according to British Petroleum - and their respective levels of personal freedom, as measured by advocacy group Freedom House:

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1. Saudi Arabia (not free) 25.0%
2. Iraq (not free) 10.7%
3. United Arab Emirates (not free) 9.3%
4. Kuwait (partly free) 9.2%
5. Iran (not free) 8.6%
6. Venezuela (partly free) 7.4%
7. Russia (partly free) 5.7%
8. US (free) 2.9%
9. Libya (not free) 2.8%
10. Nigeria (partly free) 2.3% - Associated Press


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