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News In Brief

It's the least we could do

As detailed in this space earlier in the week, the new Bush administration found the "W" missing from many computer keyboards in the White House - an apparent prank by ex-Clinton aides. Not for long, though. A chain of office-supply stores has come to the rescue, offering to donate 500 replacement keys and 100 new keyboards. "This bipartisan move," said a tongue-in-cheek Michael Feuer, chief of OfficeMax, will "keep the wheels of government moving." Of course, it has returns for OfficeMax, too: free publicity.

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And the gold goes to ...

South Africa's Cape Town lost out to Athens on hosting the 2004 summer Olympic Games. But it did win a consolation prize: the 2001 Pigeon Olympiad. Participants from 30 countries are attending, prompting a local official to commend "such a small feathered animal" for uniting "so many people." The olympiad will feature races, plus a show of racing paraphernalia.

Most generous donors: Yes, Gates and his wife are No. 1

Excluding the hundreds of millions of dollars donated anonymously to colleges, charities, and other causes last year in the US, the most generous givers - according to an annual report by the Chronicle of Philanthropy - were Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda. The publication's top 10, their addresses, and the amounts bestowed by each in 2000 (in millions unless otherwise noted):

Bill and Melinda Gates, Redmond, Wash. $5.0 billion

Eli and Edythe Broad, Brentwood, Calif. 137.5

Jon Huntsman, Salt Lake City 125.0

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Elmer Rasmuson, Anchorage, Alaska 113.4

Dora Donner Ide, San Francisco 111.0

James and Sally Barksdale, Jackson, Miss. 100.0

Kenneth Behring, Danville, Calif. 89.5

Jean Jessop Hervey, San Diego 80.0

Charles Bauer, Houston 65.0

Frank and Wynnette Levinson, Palo Alto, Calif. 65.0

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society