What with supplying 70 percent of Russia's electricity, RAO Unified Energy System already had plenty to keep it busy before taking on a new task last week: trying to undo the public relations damage done by its affiliate in the city of Vladivostok. Still, that became necessary after the affiliate announced it would confiscate the pets of customers who're behind in their bills until they pay up. Said its manager: "Let the father answer his daughter's question as to why her cat has been taken away." No, no, no! said RAO in an immediate contradiction: No "four-footed friends" will be taken away.
Joe Francis freely admits he invaded the driveway of a Crescent City, Calif., home, got behind the wheel of a truck parked there, and drove off. That's theft, right? Yes, but Francis was only doing what had been done to him. He spotted the vehicle, which had been stolen from his workplace, being driven a few days later, and followed until it stopped and the driver went indoors. After reclaiming it, he called police, who arrested a parolee from prison.
Nigeria, despite ongoing ethnic and religious strife since emerging from military rule four years ago, has the happiest people in the world, the World Values Survey finds. The study of social, cultural, and political change in 65 countries was conducted from 1999 to 2001, with results published recently in New Scientist magazine. While what makes people happy varied from culture to culture, researchers described the pursuit of material wealth as a "serious factor" in suppressing happiness. How various nations rated in the happiness index:
4. El Salvador
65. Romania - Reuters