Published October 5, 2006

Lebanon salvages World Heritage sites

Cleanup is set to begin within days at the first of three Lebanese World Heritage sites damaged in the summer's Hezbollah-Israel war. Tens of thousands of dollars from donors will go toward repairing the three sites: a famous castle-fortress coated with oil sludge in Byblos; the Roman ruins at Baalbek, pictured above, where a block of stone was toppled and existing cracks in two temples may have widened; and Roman-era frescos that were shaken to the ground in Tyre. The sites were spared any direct hits in the war, but they are in urgent need of repairs, according to Lebanese officials and a UNESCO team. Officials say they also worry that many other damaged historic sites are getting less attention.


On second thought, don't vote for me

It's the classic election story: Candidate enters race, candidate courts the voters, candidate then gets a better job and decides he doesn't want to be elected, after all. At least, that's the way Paul Herold is doing it. Herold entered the primary for a seat on the Blaine, Minn., City Council, but then he landed a new job that wouldn't leave him enough time to do a good job for his constituents. He missed the deadline for removing his name from the ballot, so he wrote a letter to a local paper pleading for nonsupport. "I tried my best not to get any votes," he said. It didn't work. He came in second in the three-way race, advancing to the November ballot against incumbent Katherine Kolb. Now he's urging people to vote for Kolb. "Here are the only ways I can get off the ballot: A. I'd have to die; B. I'd have to move out of the district," he said.

New flight rule: No grabbing of rear

It wasn't exactly a terrorist plot, but a woman faces charges after she was involved in an unusual altercation on a plane. The woman, whose name wasn't released, was on US Airways Flight 1494 from Charlotte, N.C., to London, when she got into an argument with a male flight attendant. During the incident, the woman, um, "grabbed his buttocks," said Conan Bruce, a spokesman for the Federal Air Marshal Service in Washington. That led to the woman being arrested on charges of sexual assault and disrupting a flight. And of course, she'll be the butt of many jokes, we suspect.


Outbreaks in India

Surging cases of dengue in northern India and chikungunya in the south have killed at least 87 people, officials reported Wednesday. The mosquito-borne illnesses come as the annual monsoon season tapers off across much of the subcontinent, leaving small pools of water where mosquitoes breed.