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News In Brief

THINK OF IT AS A 'DEBATE'

The World Wrestling Federation has challenged presidential candidates George W. Bush and Al Gore to a televised appearance in which they'd take turns trying to convince 18- to 30-year-olds why it's "relevant" to vote Nov. 7. Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, who first won fame as a pro wrestler and WWF TV host, is the intended "moderator." The event would be called "Smackdown!" but as far as is known wouldn't be held in a locked steel cage.

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AND DON'T EVER DO THAT AGAIN

In Port Arthur, Texas, a judge has sentenced nine teens who pleaded guilty to vandalizing a veterans memorial park. Among other penalties, each must watch the war film "Saving Private Ryan" and write a 1,000-word essay due Dec. 7 - the anniversary of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.

'Survivor' has no problem whipping the competition

It wasn't a question of whether "Survivor" would clinch the No. 1 spot last week in TV ratings. Rather, just how big would the win be? As it turns out, the reality-based series ranked as the most-watched summertime show since at least 1987, when Nielsen Media Research began electronically measuring its audience. The leaders for Aug. 21-27, with their Nielsen ratings:

1. "Survivor," CBS 28.6

2. "Survivor: The Reunion,"

CBS 22.5

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3. "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire"

(Tuesday), ABC 15.1

4. "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire"

(Sunday), ABC 14.9

5. "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire"

(Thursday), ABC 13.6

6. "60 Minutes," CBS 9.7

7. "Dateline NBC" (Tuesday) 9.0

(tie) "The Practice," ABC 9.0

(tie) "20/20 Downtown," ABC 9.0

10. "Law and Order," NBC 8.3

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society