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Etc...

It was a simple mistaek

Can misspelling a couple of words get you arrested? Yes, at least in Hickory, N.C. That's where two out-of-town visitors entered a supermarket early last week and tried to cash a check for $498.88. Alas, the manager - who had to OK the transaction - noticed that the check had been issued by "Boryhill Furmiture." Ah, but since the home office of Broyhill Furniture Inc. is 20 miles away in Lenoir, N.C., he knew he was dealing with a counterfeit and asked the customers for identification. They fled, but two female companions were apprehended, along with dozens of other bogus checks. Hickory's police chief said, "There's a good possibility that if the name ... had been spelled correctly, they would have gotten away with it."

Ready ... set... go!

In Germany, 40 authors are limbering up for a strenuous project planned for April 23. They'll be asked to try to set a world record by writing, editing, and publishing a 96-page volume of fiction - on a single theme - in honor of World Book Day. The sponsor, a foundation that promotes reading, aims to have copies on store shelves within 12 hours.

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Quote of the day

'We pray for America's destruction day and night.'

- Haider Khan, a taxi driver in Islamabad, Pakistan, and one of dozens of people around the world whose opinions on the prospect of war with Iraq were sought in a survey by the Associated Press.

Ranking the most tech-ready countries: No, US isn't No. 1

Which nation is best at putting information and communications technology to use? According to results of a new study by the World Economic Forum, the World Bank, and other participants, it's Finland. The study, designed to help governments craft policies to compete on the global market, rated 82 nations on 64 criteria related to technology use by individuals, businesses, and governments. The top 10 tech-ready countries:

1. Finland
2. US
3. Singapore
4. Sweden
5. Iceland
6. Canada
7. Britain
8. Denmark
9. Taiwan
10. Germany - Associated Press