All eyes will be on Hollywood this Sunday when the winners of this year's Oscars are announced during the 74th Annual Academy Awards ceremony.
With the announcement of the SAG Award winners and all the other awards handed out during the past couple of months, the experts have been handicapping the chances of each picture in taking home Oscar gold. The Caribbean-based Web site Intertops.com has been accepting wagers on the six major categories of this year's Oscars since the nominations were announced last month.
The current odds:
-- Best Motion Picture: A Beautiful Mind 1/2, The Lord of the Rings 5/2, Gosford Park 5/1, Moulin Rouge 6/1, In the Bedroom 15/1
(Web site: intertops.com)
THINGS WE DON'T UNDERSTAND
The two daughters of former President Nixon apparently can't agree on how best to honor the memory of their late father -- the only president to resign the White House. The difference of opinion has become so rancorous that the two are in court.
At issue is how to spend some $12 million left to the Nixon estate by the former president's long-time friend Bebe Rebozo. Court records show that the sisters -- Julie Nixon Eisenhower and Patricia Nixon Cox -- are at odds on just what kind of monument or other honor should grace the grounds of the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, Calif. Patricia seems to be the one who has a more grandiose plan for the use of the funds.
Meanwhile, courts in both California and Florida -- because Miami-area businessman Rebozo was a key contributor to Nixon's political campaigns -- continue to be the scene of debates over the status of the $12 million.
(Thanks to UPI's Dennis Daily)
NEWS OF OTHER LIFE FORMS
For 49 years, Marshmallow Peeps have been a staple of Easter -- evolving from yellow chicks into new shapes, flavors and colors.
Since being first handmade by Just Born in 1953, Peeps have multiplied into a variety of marshmallow treats for different holidays, but Easter is still their biggest occasion. Last Easter alone, more than 700 million Peeps were consumed and 2001 marked the first year during which total Peeps production surpassed one billion.
Now they have their own Web site. Fans can log onto marshmellowpeeps.com and visit Peepsville, join the Peepes Fan Club and get craft and recipe ideas.
TODAY'S SIGN THE WORLD IS ENDING
Owners of a mortuary on the island of Hawaii face second-degree theft charges for allegedly selling pricey caskets and burial vaults to relatives -- but not burying the deceased in them.
The Hawaii state attorney general's office arrested Robert Diego, Momi Diego and Bobby Jean Diego following a lengthy investigation in which graves were opened and remains were found lying in plastic bags in the bare ground, according to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
Investigators began looking into the activities at Memorial Mortuary in Hilo last year after a former girlfriend of Robert Diego contacted authorities. They found customers of the mortuary who had exhumed departed family members for reburial at other locations discovered their loved ones had been buried without the caskets and vaults they had purchased.
One customer, Jacob Pa, said his late mother had been in a coffin at her 1982 funeral but not in 1993 when the grave was opened. Pa said the Diegos had had the mourners leave before the actual burial, citing the dangers presented by the earthmoving equipment used by the cemetery.
AND FINALLY, TODAY'S UPLIFTING STORY
A royal wedding is taking place Thursday in Morocco. King Mohammed VI is getting married. His bride-to-be is Salma Banani, a commoner who works as a computer engineer.
A Moroccan official said the ceremony was to take place at the royal palace in Rabat but -- according to Moroccan tradition -- there were to be three days of official wedding celebrations beginning April 12 in Marrakech.
Banani, 24, is from the city of Fez. Her father was an education professor. She was raised in her grandmother's home following the death of her mother.
The future princess acquired a diploma in computer engineering in 2002 and worked with a major industrial company, Ominium North Africa, in which the royal family has a 20-percent stake.
The wife of Mohammed VI will be known as Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Salma. Observers said granting the new princess an official title was revolutionary because, as per royal tradition, the names of the king's wives are never disclosed.
Sources close to the royal palace said a number of Moroccan youth from various backgrounds were expected to marry during the official wedding celebrations.
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