...Continued from page 1

Like he does, Le Pen got hot under the collar. Two kids had smashed the Peugeot's windshield to get a portable phone left on a front seat, and diners in another restaurant who saw it happen, had called the cops. When they came and spied the arsenal, they thought they were dealing with dangerous characters.

Bug 2000

The DGCCRF, which is short for the office of competition, consumption and fraud enforcement, has announced that 60 percent ofphoto: metro palais royal all computers now being sold by the hypermarket chains, will stumble on I. January 2000.

The inspectors say that in some cases it is the machines themselves or it is the software they are delivered with that will cause the 'bug' to change their internal calendars to '00.'

Microsoft has already been warned that 'Works 4.5' is not compatible with the next century. So the fraud people are issuing warnings to the constructors; and apparently users can press charges too if they end getting stuck with the double-zero.

World Cup Fake Record

Last year, for the occasion of the World Cup in France, investigators seized more than 2.3 million counterfeit articles, up from 706,000 seized in 1997. That's a boost of 228 percent.

Half a million of the items were directly related to the football championship. Naturally, most of the fakes were imported from other countries, but a Marseille T-shirt factory was captured with thousands of copy-cat T-shirts too.

In other words, while France watched the matches and had a good time, customs agents were working overtime. Textile articles are the most counterfeited, followed by toys and luxury goods are in third place.

In Europe, Italy leads in the manufacture of fakes, but is well behind world leaders located in some Asian countries, who together, account for about 50 percent of the world's bogus output.

The Crime of the Week

Last week, little Andre's father signed the five-year old up for private school, in another town 10 kilometres away from the village they live in.

This was after little André spent a lunchtime with the local gendarmes. It happened like this: on Monday at 9:00, André's mom phoned the school to say André would be having lunch in the school's cantine.

She gave a cheque to one of André's older brothers for the two or three lunches, but André was in the kindergarten section and his brothers were in the grade school section of the village school.

Apparently, the school recently abandoned the system of selling ticketsphoto: parc marly, no swimming, no skaying corresponding to lunches. This system is common, because it allows for flexibility - on some days the kid might have lunch at home for example.

The sign says, 'No swimming, no skating.' It should say, 'Watch your step.'

For some reason, not explained in the story, the older brothers did not inform anybody that part of the cheque was for André, or they forgot, or something. But between 10 and 11:00 the cook was informed to not make two lunches.

With André having no lunch waiting for him, the school director had three choices: if the kid isn't going to the cantine or the parents aren't picking him up - she can keep him with her, she can hand him over to someone designated by the parents, or she can send him to stay with the cops.

The director of this particular school in this particular village, chose the latter. The report doesn't say if or what the gendarmes gave five-year old André for lunch.

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