Published September 30, 2006

Try to be friendly and tough, too

Military leaders in Thailand are trying to run the nicest coup ever, but they've decided that enough is enough and they have to look sort of serious. So, no more letting tourists handle weapons for snapshots. And bare-midriff dancers performing in front of the tanks, above, has been deemed "not appropriate." "We have to maintain the seriousness of the coup," said Lt. Gen. Palangoon Klaharn, a military spokesman. The bloodless coup toppled Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Sept. 19. Last week, the leaders instructed soldiers to smile. That directive stands.

Iranian uranium becomes shell game

If Iran doesn't get this big nuclear controversy under control, it could really mess up the world pistachio market. Hundreds of thousands of Iranians work in the pistachio industry, and it brought in $824-million last year. But all that is in jeopardy with the economic sanctions the country faces if the U.N. decides to punish Iran for enriching uranium. Most of Iran's nuts go to markets in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. Probably not a big concern here, though. Most of the pistachios in the United States are grown in California.


Hamster on a plane

It would probably make a terrible horror movie, and Samuel L. Jackson probably wouldn't even read the script. But a hamster got loose on an Austrian Airlines jet, forcing the plane to make an unscheduled stop in Innsbruck, Austria. A passenger notified the crew that the rodent that he brought on board - hamsters are not specifically listed as something you can't bring on a plane, but it's frowned upon - had escaped from ... well ... wherever he hid it to get it on the plane. Those hamsters will chew through anything, and they couldn't take off again until they found it and knew that it hadn't gnawed on any relevant wires.


More art missing

The Hermitage Museum in Russia was already missing 221 works worth $5-million. Now it says five more appear to be missing. But they're not sure. It could be an accounting error. Authorities recovered 24 stolen items and charged three people with the thefts, including the husband and son of the late curator.

Case against Karr

Investigators scouring the computer data of former JonBenet Ramsey suspect John Mark Karr say they've found the child pornography evidence against him. The five misdemeanor counts against him were in jeopardy after cops thought they lost it.


SUNDAY: Brazilian presidential election.

SUNDAY: Yom Kippur.

MONDAY: Supreme Court opens term.

MONDAY: Nobel Prize in medicine announced.

TUESDAY: Nobel Prize in physics announced.

WEDNESDAY: Nobel Prize in chemistry announced.