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News In Brief

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN...

If you wanted to direct an inquiry to the new minister for women's affairs in the Austrian government, would you address it to Mrs., Ms., or Madam? Answer: none of the above. Last week, the post changed hands, and the new person in charge is ... Herbert Haupt, who took over when the ruling Freedom Party fired predecessor Elisabeth Sickl, because of differences over policy. In the central European nation, at least, this is a first.

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LOOK ON THE SUNNY SIDE

Then there's the Netherlands, whose medieval parliament is being fitted with $200,000 worth of solar panels. They will not, we're assured, flout the architectural integrity of the building, which encloses a public courtyard and is partly encircled by a moat. There is some second-guessing, however. The Dutch countryside averages 131 days of rain a year, not to mention many more that are dry, but overcast.

Salvation Army lands eighth year atop charity ranking

America's leading charities raised more than $38 billion last year, 13 percent more than in 1998, The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports in this week's issue. In the No. 1 spot - for the eighth straight year - is the Salvation Army, which in 1999 received $1.4 billion in cash and donated goods. The top charities, including educational institutions, as compiled by the Chronicle, with the amount (in millions except for No. 1) of private donations received:

1. Salvation Army $1.4 billion

2. YMCA of the USA 693.3

3. American Red Cross 678.3

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4. American Cancer Society 620.0

5. Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund 573.4

6. Lutheran Services in America 559.0

7. United Jewish Communities 524.3

8. America's Second Harvest 471.8

9. Habitat for Humanity International 466.7

10. Harvard University 451.7

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society