News In Brief
IN WAKUWAKU LAND The rare "black diamond" beetle has been sold for a record 10 million yen ($90,000) in Japan. Such stag beetles are popular with Japanese children, but few grow to the size of this one - 3.1 inches long. A customer of the WakuWaku Land specialty shop in Tokyo apparently liked its pincer-like jaws and shiny shell.
A RIGHT OF PASSAGE Jef Smith, a retired Englishman, has a soft spot for woolly animals. Late last week, he herded his two sheep - Clover and Little Man - across the Thames River on Tower Bridge. Smith said he was entitled to do so. The police weren't so sure, but they were overruled by the Corporation of London. Smith was trying to draw attention to the largely forgotten rights of English freemen.
States planning tax hikes seen swimming against tide Minnesota, long a place of high tax burdens, is the US leader in new tax cuts, according to an analysis of budgets by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The study of tax reductions that 42 states will implement over the next two years shows Minnesotans will be receiving the highest total of cuts and rebates - $2.7 billion - as well as the highest per capita relief - $575. Some legislatures had not yet approved budgets at the time of the study, but Minnesota's nearest competitor so far was Connecticut, which is offering tax relief totaling $216 per capita. Only seven states were raising taxes, according to the study. They are:
- Associated Press
(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society