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Here are a few unusual news items from around the world. Remember to read the help page if you don't know why some words are coloured green.

CASHING IN
International Agile Manufacturing has bought 500 tons of steel from the World Trade Center ruins. They plan to make six million commemorative medallions showing the twin towers with a flag waving behind them.

UNE BELLE SUPRISE
Belle, a springer spaniel from Halesowen, England, had an operation to remove stones from her stomach. Her owner noticed she was putting on weight and took her to the vet. Dogs often eat stones, but Belle, in a two-hour operation, had 627 removed.

ORGAN DONATION
Remember those old films where a gentle person receives a heart transplant from a murderer and becomes psychotic overnight? Well, doctors in America have discovered that organ recipients do experience personality changes that reflect aspects of the donor's personality. Professor Gary Schwartz, Professor Paul Pearsall, and Dr Linda Russek, say that cells, other than brain cells, may have a cellular memory and the information stored in transplanted cells could affect the recipient.

THE BEAR NECESSITIES
Due to the mild weather this year in central Europe, the European brown bear has woken early from hibernation. Temperatures in some areas have reached nearly 20°C at a time of year when they would normally be below freezing. The bears are sleepy and confused and potentially dangerous. Forest rangers in Poland have scattered food to prevent the bears from approaching towns looking for a meal. The brown bear may be up to six feet tall and weighs over 700 pounds. Authorities in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Austria have warned tourists to take extra care.

FORGET THE ELEPHANTS
Kumari in Bangladesh has problems with wild elephants. Recently, 13 elephants stampeded, injuring villagers. The elephants' habitation is shrinking, so they probably come into villages in search of food.

VINTAGE WINE
Divers have been exploring a wreck off the coast of Marseilles, found in 1999 by the underwater engineering firm Comex. The ship, dating from around 500BC, contains 800 terracotta wine 'amphorae'. Unfortunately, the wine, although still alcoholic, is undrinkable.

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Copyright and Permission: Talking Technologies 2002



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