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Etc...

We are not amused

What's the worst you can say about a professional comic? Maybe: Has he "lost his funny bone?" Case in point: London's Evening Standard, which posed that as a rhetorical question in a story about John Cleese after the British star of "Monty Python" and "Fawlty Towers" moved to California. Cleese, who failed to see the humor of it all, sued, contending the newspaper had been "vitriolic." It printed an apology. Not sincere enough, the court ruled. It offered a settlement of £10,000 ($16,360). Not generous enough, said the judge. So who gets the last laugh? Cleese, who views the final award of £13,500 ($22,200) as "complete vindication," his lawyer said.

Why would they want those?

As if its feud with the US over nuclear weapons programs weren't enough, North Korea's communist regime apparently now is upset about the purchases its citizens are returning with from trips abroad. Such as? Bibles, lipsticks, mascara ... and miniskirts. "A harsh situation," leaked government documents say.

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Quote of the day

'I would say I'm seeing the beginning of a change of heart for Iraq.'

- Mohamad ElBaradei, chief of the International Atomic Energy Agency, as he and Hans Blix left their weekend mission to Baghdad reporting greater cooperation by Saddam Hussein's government with the UN weapons-inspection regime.

New study takes unique look at racial mix in the South

Southern cities, often regarded as among the most segregated in the US, instead dominate a new list of the most integrated. It's a matter of perspective, say researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee (UWM). Rather than the usual formula - comparing total numbers of black and white residents - they used data from the 2000 Census to determine which cities have the most blocks with populations at least 20 percent black and 20 percent white. The top 10 integrated cities in the UWM study:

1. Norfolk, Va.
2. Columbia, S.C.
3. Charleston, S.C.
4. Richmond, Va.
5. Memphis, Tenn.
6. Raleigh, N.C.
7. Charlotte, N.C.
8. Jacksonville, Fla.
9. Wilmington, Del.
10. Little Rock, Ark. - The Economist