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Of Human Interest: News-lite

By PENNY NELSON BARTHOLOMEW, United Press International   |   Jan. 25, 2002 at 4:45 AM   |   Comments

OH, BABY, BABY, BABY, BABY

Identical twins run in Christina Tetrick's family. She's just taking it a little further than anyone else has.

The 28-year-old Wichita, Kan., woman recently found out she is carrying two sets of identical twins -- an occurrence doctors say is rare in conceptions not aided by fertility drugs.

Tetrick learned about her progeny during a routine ultrasound examination. "It's a good thing I was lying down when they told me," she told CBS Radio Thursday.

Doctors put Christina's official due date in early May but have told her to expect to deliver around March 7 since the average term of gestation for quadruplets is 29 weeks. But her husband, Pat, 34 -- a sergeant 1st class in the U.S. Army Reserve's 346th Military Police Company -- may not be on hand for the births. His unit was called up last week as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Christina, who is in her 23rd week of pregnancy, is philosophical. "I call him my Boy Scout," she told the Wichita Eagle newspaper. "He's very straight, very patriotic: 'You do your duty.' I support him in every way."


WILL MONICA AND BILL COLLECT ROYALTIES?

Either the Kremlin is hiding a big romantic secret or Russian composers are becoming daringly shameless about exploitation.

Pop promoter Vitaly Okorokov -- who used to run Russia's version of the Spice Girls, the all-girl group Kombinatsiya -- has written an opera titled "Monica in the Kremlin." Yes, that Monica. It also stars that puritan ex-KGB spy and judo master Vladimir Putin.

This transplant of the Clinton-Lewinsky saga to the red brick walls of Russia's seat of power will have its premiere in Saratov, the composer's hometown. The popular Russian singers Nikolai Baskov and Liubov Kazarnovskaya have been signed for the lead roles of Monica and Putin.

However, any American slavering for first-night tickets should be warned to expect some cultural differences. Okorokov's last big hit, performed by his all-girl group, was titled "Two Slices of Sausage."

(From UPI Hears)


LET'S GIVE HIM A HAND

The world's first hand transplant patient who became the world's first hand UNtransplant patient wants a hand -- another one -- but he isn't likely to get it.

New Zealander Clint Hallam has e-mailed one of the surgeons who spent a dozen hours sewing a donated hand to the stump of his right arm in September 1998, asking that he be considered for another transplant.

The reply: "The answer was a categoric NO as we have sadly learned that he is totally unreliable," Dr. Nadey Hakim said in an e-mail of his own from his London-based consultancy to UPI. The capital letters are his.

It seems Hallam, after getting his new hand, refused to take the medication necessary to prevent rejection, resulting in amputation of the donor limb last February, doctors told the Australian daily newspaper The Age.

At that time the decision was fine with Hallam, who had been asking for the hand's removal for several months. The immunosuppressive drugs he had to take reportedly made him feel like having "constant flu," and the transplant itself felt like "a dead man's hand," he told the BBC.

Since then, he's changed his mind.


REASONS TO CELEBRATE THIS WEEKEND:

FRIDAY: This is Fun At Work Day. Gee, isn't that every day? (Web site: qualitytransitions.com)

It's also A Room Of One's Own Day. (Web site: wellcat.com)

SATURDAY: This is Australia Day, a public holiday celebrating the first British settlement in Australian in 1788.

The Dominican Republic celebrates the anniversary of the birth of founding father Juan Pablo Duarte with a national holiday today.

And it's Republic Day in India, celebrating the declaration of the republic in 1929.

SUNDAY: Today through Feb. 2 is Leadership Week International. (Web site: difrancis.com/leadershipweek)

This is Thomas Crapper Day, commemorating the man described as the prime developer of the flush toilet mechanism as it's known today. Crapper died on this date in 1910.

And Germany observes a Day of Remembrance for Victims of Nazism.

MONDAY: This is Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day. Where would we be without it?

(Thanks to Chase's 2002 Calendar of Events)


BY THE WAY...

How old was Al Capone when he died?

Capone, who dominated organized crime in Chicago during Prohibition, was only 48 when he died on this date in 1947.

© 2002 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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