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News In Brief

FINALLY, IT'S OUR TURN

Let's see: A new millennium dawned somewhere around 6 a.m., Jan. 1 ... for most of us. For the 1,400 folks in the Norwegian village of Longyearbyen, however, it arrived at 12 minutes to 1 p.m. two days ago; theirs is the last inhabited place on earth to experience the sunrise this century. The village on the Svalbard Archipelago, halfway between the Arctic Circle and the North Pole, is the world's most northerly permanent settlement. The orb hasn't been seen there since mid-October.

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SKIS ARE OPTIONAL

If you'll be in Hong Kong this Christmas, take along light clothing, but be prepared for snow, too. Snow in subtropical Hong Kong? Tourism planners say they'll cover the waterfront for 18 days - from Dec. 15 to Jan. 2 - with machine-made white stuff to enhance a festival featuring classic reproductions of European cities. The special promotion is expected to attract 1 million visitors, ensuring the administrative region's status as a year-end vacation hub.

Pokmon: It's what surfers ask about most ... on Lycos

More than anything else, Web surfers are in search of pop culture - at least judging by the latest activity on Lycos, an Internet search engine and provider of other cyberspace services. Its compilation of the 50 most popular search terms that were used last week put Pokmon at the top - as it has been for 29 weeks. In fact, all in the top 10 but No. 9, Mardi Gras, are regulars. The only exception to the pop-culture trend: the Internal Revenue Service, at No. 7 - a sign that the April 15 deadline for filing taxes is around the corner. Lycos's top 10 search terms for the week ending March 4:

1. Pokmon

2. Dragonball

3. Britney Spears

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4. Jennifer Lopez

5. World Wrestling Federation

6. Pamela Anderson

7. Internal Revenue Service

8. Tattoos

9. Mardi Gras

10. Las Vegas

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(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society