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The skinny

Published April 28, 2007




A new poll suggests that 38 percent of U.S. respondents have a negative view of the French. Which sounds like a lot, until you realize that 44 percent of French respondents aren't crazy about the French, either. The poll, conducted for the International Herald Tribune and France 24 TV, questioned more than 1, 000 people in each of six countries. Germans kind of like French people, with only 14 percent expressing a negative opinion of them.


Colorado disaster plan is a big secret

Colorado developed a supersecret plan to ensure state government will function in natural disaster or terror attack. It has been distributed on a need-to-know basis, and apparently the lawmakers who might ascend to positions of high authority don't need to know. "We're so essential they forgot to tell us, " said Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald, a Democrat, who is third in line to be governor. The plan is kept by a state trooper at the Capitol. "It's supposed to be secret, but not so secret we can't figure out what the plan is, " said Susan Kirkpatrick of the Department of Local Affairs, which helps local governments develop homeland security programs.


An extra $106, 000 goes a long way

The money was in George Costa's bank account. So why not spend it? When the La Vista, Neb., resident found $106, 000 in his account at Pinnacle Bank, he started sending big chunks of cash to stores and restaurants. And he paid off some credit cards. That's responsible. And he sent money to some casinos. So much for responsible. Anyway, turns out it is illegal to spend money you got as a mistake, even if that money is in your bank account, placed there by the bank. " 'Finder's keepers' and 'possession is nine-tenths of the law' aren't legal principles, " said Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov. Costa says he's willing to pay the money back - $80, 000 is gone - but doesn't think he should face jail time.


Capsule from '50s, contents from '70s

At the University of Washington, the communications department opened a time capsule that had been placed in 1957. According to the Seattle Times, officials found all the stuff they expected to find. Reel to reel films. Copies of local publications. Copies of Playboy from the late '70s. Wait, no, they didn't expect to find stuff from the '70s in there. But there they were, along with some women's underwear, clip-on ties and some Twinkies. "This is a great college prank, " department chair Gerald Baldasty said. "We're not upset at all; we're just having a good chuckle over it." The contents, all of them, will be on display at a department function today.


Japanese poodle scam story a hoax

An item Friday told the tale of Japanese dog lovers who inadvertently bought sheep advertised as poodles at cut-rate prices. The story originated in a British newspaper and spread around the globe, but Japanese police deny any knowledge of such a scam. "That story's just stupid. No one with any intelligence would buy a sheep instead of a poodle, " said Tokyo resident Sakurako Sugata. Settles that.

Compiled from Times wires and other sources by staff writer Jim Webster.

[Last modified April 28, 2007, 01:48:15]

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