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A test of 'true colors'

With a general election in five months, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder may win or lose by a hair. His own, that is. A dispute over whether the German leader dyes his dark-brown locks has sidelined debate on the weak economy, and made his barber a national celebrity. It all started when Schröder's lawyers sought to block a news agency from repeating the coloring claim – which the chancellor strongly denies. Political opponents dared him to submit a strand for laboratory tests, hinting that a man who would fib about gray temples may not be candid on other matters either.

slow, but no stopping her

"My thighs were suffering, but I was determined to finish" said Jenny Wood Allen, as the nonagenarian great-grandmother from Dundee, Scotland, completed her 16th London Marathon Sunday in 11 hours, 34 minutes. Allen, who began running in her 70s, will "concentrate on shorter distances" from now on.

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Dell, Oracle top survey of global manufacturers

Software and technology firms dominate a new index of the world's top 100 manufacturers, based on performance, by Deloitte Research, a unit of consulting and auditing giant Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. The top 10 companies, and where they're based (with industries in parentheses):

1. Dell Computer Corp., Round Rock, Texas

2. Oracle Corp., Redwood City, Calif. (software)

3. Nokia Corp., Espoo, Finland (telecommunications)

4. Anglo American Platinum Corp., Johannesburg, South Africa (mining)

5. Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, Ga.

6. Itochu Techno-Science, Tokyo, Japan (software)

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7. Colgate-Palmolive Co., New York (personal care)

8. Siebel Systems Inc., San Mateo, Calif. (software)

9. Amgen Inc, Thousand Oaks, Calif. (biotechnology, drugs)

10. Imperial Tobacco Group PLC, Bristol, United Kingdom

– Business Wire