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July 24, 1999

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That Hectic Schedule Pays Off

You're pretty busy, aren't you? In fact, darn busy? Too busy to take a vacation sometimes, I'd guess. Well, 7-Eleven is looking for the busiest person in America. All you have to do is prove you have the most hectic schedule in the U.S., and you and a friend will be flown to Bora Bora, where a stay at the Bora Bora Lagoon Resort will help you forget all about your work. All you have to do is turn in a page from your Day-Timer that shows one of your typically busy days and write a convincing paragraph explaining why your life is a 20-car pileup. Go to the convenience store's web site for details at www.7-Eleven.com.

The contest ends September 1 with the winner revealed a month later. You might find yourself admiring the South Pacific sunsets that so captivated Paul Gaugin...if you're not too busy to enter.

Bora Bora courtesy of 7-Eleven -- that's my Deal of the Week.

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Royal Carribean Strikes Again
It seems the seas are a royal mess. Attorney General Janet Reno announced last week that Royal Caribbean Cruises has agreed to plead guilty and pay an $18 million fine for dumping oily water and hazardous chemicals. Royal Caribbean already was on probation after it pleaded guilty last year to previous pollution. Reno said the punishment will "sound like a foghorn throughout the industry." But cruise industry analyst Paul Mackey says it will be business as usual, even if there are complaints from outraged travelers.

Mackey: "Those are a small, small part of the population -- eco-cruisers to World Discoverer or to Alaska. They make a lot of noise but I'm not so sure; the masses of people who go cruising and like to go the casino and have drinks and go on shore tours. They way overwhelm the few greenies out there who are passionate about this thing."

Cruise ships often avoid U.S. regulations by flying the flag of a foreign country, but in this case, a federal judge in Miami struck down the no-U.S.-jurisdiction argument.

Check out a previous feature on this issue.

Flight Simulation Junkie Turns Hijacker
A hijacker armed with a knife forced his way into an All Nippon Airways cockpit on Friday, stabbed the pilot to death, and briefly flew the plane until the co-pilot and off-duty crew members managed to subdue him. No one else was injured, and the plane, bound from Tokyo to Sapporo landed safely. The 28 year old hijacker reportedly was a flight-simulation game enthusiast who wanted to fly a real plane.

Turn those Phones Off!
You've heard the flight attendants: "All electronic devices including cellular phones must be turned off and stowed. Cellular phones must remain turned off for the duration of the flight." Maybe you ignored it. Well, one British Airways passenger got the message loud and clear on Wednesday, when an English judge sentenced him to a year in prison for refusing to turn off his mobile phone during a flight from Madrid. The passenger said he was preparing a text message to send when they landed, but the judge said his disobedience recklessly endangered lives.

"Hemingway sat here."
And from the tasteful landmarks department...it was the centennial of Ernest Hemingway's birth Wednesday, but celebrations weren't confined to Cuba or Key West. The Michigan Hemingway Society's week-long festival features tours of his boyhood haunts, including the Hemingways' summer cottage on Little Traverse Bay that's usually off-limits to visitors. There aren't any "Hemingway drank here" signs, but the tour does feature the home's original outhouse with a sign reading, "Hemingway sat here."

Shakespeare Plays Prague
And finally, it seems all the world's a suitable place for Shakespeare's stage. A replica of the Globe Theatre opened last week in Prague. It holds more than 500 spectators and will stage Shakespearean plays from May through October. The original Globe, which Shakespeare partially owned, was built in London in 1599 and burned down in 1613.

Travel Advisory
by Cheryl Glaser

Terrorism in Turkey
Ever since Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan was arrested in February, terrorism in Turkey has been on the rise. Last week, separatist rebels opened fire on a café and claimed the right to retaliate for the arrest of group members. The State Department urges visitors to southeastern Turkey to stay indoors after dark. And don't mail any letters or parcels for strangers.

Hike Yosemite at Your Own Risk
Daily monitoring in Yosemite National Park since a June rockslide has revealed dozens of new cracks in the Glacier Point Wall, a popular scenic overlook. Geologists still say another large rockslide is imminent, but for now all hiking trails are open.

N.E. Tick Population up 40%
If you're hiking on the East Coast, it's biting ticks you have to watch out for. Their population is up 40 % this year. The deer tick variety in the Northeast carry Lyme disease, which causes neurological and joint problems. Infected ticks have been found in some of New York's city parks, so wear insect repellent and check skin carefully, even in urban areas.


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