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Of Human Interest: News-lite

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International   |   Nov. 6, 2001 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

OMAR CHALLENGES GEORGE AND TONY

Afghanistan's ruling Taliban is proposing a duel between President George W. Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and its leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar.

"The Americans have launched propaganda that Mullah Omar has gone in hiding, so I will propose that Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush should take Kalashnikovs and come to a specified place where Mullah Omar will appear with the Kalashnikovs to determine as to who will run," Taliban Foreign Minister Maulvi Wakil Ahmed Mutawakil was quoted as saying by Iran's IRNA news agency.

Wakil denies Omar has gone into hiding, saying the leader "changes places because of security."

Since Oct. 7, U.S. planes have bombed Afghanistan in retaliation for the Taliban's refusal to hand over Osama bin Laden, the man Washington says masterminded the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington that killed some 5,000 people.


TRUE FANS

A Texas teenager devoured the competition by becoming a bug-eating human "Pikmin" to win Nintendo's "What would YOU do for a Nintendo GameCube?" contest.

Corey Olcsvary, 19, beat out four other finalists from across the nation to become the contest's grand prize winner with the most creative and wacky stunt -- he became a human "Pikmin" character from the upcoming Nintendo GameCube Pikmin video game by shaving his head, donning a leaf, painting himself blue and munching on a bowl of "Pikmin food" including live worms and crickets. He won a Nintendo GameCube, a Game Boy Advance a video game software package and $5,000 in cash.

The other finalists included Jason Siler, 26, from Illinois, who proposed to his girlfriend dressed as Nintendo's Mario character while his girlfriend was wearing a Princess Peach costume; Lizzy Joseph, 16, from Arizona, who ate a Nintendo GameCube-sized replica of uncooked Spam, cat food and chocolate syrup; Matthew Knapp, 16, from Wyoming, who painted a Nintendo GameCube logo using only his tongue and various condiments; and Jeffrey Hildack, 24, from New York, who juggled several previous generation Nintendo game systems dressed as Mario while whistling the Mario theme.

The Nintendo GameCube hits stores Nov. 18.

(Web site: nintendogamecube.com)


NO TALKING FROGS ALLOWED

Sam Adams and Project Greenlight have launched "The Sam Adams Brew It Yourself TV Commercial Contest."

Amateur filmmakers, directors, producers and beer drinkers alike are invited to submit original concepts for a 30-second Sam Adams television ad.

"We've all watched a stupid beer commercial on TV and thought `I can do better than that,'" said Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Sam Adams. "This contest will give people a chance to see if they really can."

The winning contestant will be provided with a budget of up to $100,000 to direct his or her commercial, which will air on NBC's "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and VH1.

Project Greenlight is a partnership between LivePlanet, Sam Adams, Miramax and HBO designed to give an aspiring, unknown screenwriter the chance to make their own movie.

(Web site: samadams.com)


REASONS TO CELEBRATE TODAY:

TUESDAY: This is Election Day. Many state and local government elections are being held today. It's a state holiday in 12 states.

Today marks the halfway point of autumn. 45 1/2 days of autumn have elapsed and 45 1/2 remain until the beginning of winter on Dec. 21.

It's Saxophone Day, celebrating the birth, in 1814, of Adolphe Sax, the Belgian musician who invented the saxophone and the saxotromba.

This is the Anniversary of the Green March, a national holiday, in Morocco. It commemorates the 1975 march into the Spanish Sahara to claim the land for Morocco.

And today is Gustavus Adolphus Day in Sweden, honoring the king and military leader killed in 1632.

(Thanks to Chase's 2001 Calendar of Events)


BY THE WAY...

Name the first TV talk show to feature audience participation.

"The Phil Donahue Show," which premiered on this date in 1967, was the first talk show with audience participation. "Donahue," as it was known in later years," left the air in 1996.

© 2001 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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