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CALL IT CUTTING-EDGE HUMOR

Most of the news emanating from Afghanistan is grim, right? But that doesn't mean the besieged country's people can't enjoy a joke. Consider the one making the rounds of Kabul, the capital: If you want to make a fast buck, invest in razor blades. Why? Because of the assumption that the hard-line Taliban regime will fall as a result of US action for harboring Osama bin Laden. Religious police jail males who dare to defy a Taliban edict that they grow beards at least as long as the width of a fist.

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HELLO? yes, this is she

Unless it leaks out, the number probably never will be made public. But the news has: Queen Elizabeth II finally is among the world's cellphone users. That is, according to a published report. The British monarch, who won't allow her personal staff to carry the things, was presented with a pre-programmed version by her son, Prince Andrew, so she can stay in contact on those occasions when she "is walking on a royal estate, miles from a landline phone."

Americans tell pollsters: It's time to fight against terror

About 56 percent of Americans back a military response against persons and groups suspected of terrorism, such as Saudi exile Osama bin Laden, even if it's not certain they were responsible for the Sept 11 attacks in New York and Washington, a Newsweek poll has found. About 71 percent of Americans support military action against terrorist bases and countries that support them. Despite the attacks, or perhaps because of them, 55 percent of respondents said they're satisfied with the way things are going in the US, up from 43 percent in June. And 86 percent of those polled approve of how President Bush is handling his job. The poll, appearing in Newsweek's Oct. 1 issue also found Americans responded to the crisis in the following ways:

Displayed an American flag 79%

Donated money, food, or supplies to relief efforts 64%

Lighted a candle 60%

Attended a special religious or ecumenical service 50%

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- PR Newswire