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Of Human Interest; News lite

By ELLEN BECK, United Press International   |   Nov. 26, 2002 at 4:00 AM   |   Comments

CHURCHILL, DIANA TOP POLL

World War II couldn't defeat Winston Churchill, but it looked for a time like he might lose out to the late Princess Diana.

Prince Charles's ex-wife won the third-highest number of votes of the 1.2 million cast in the British Broadcasting Corp. survey to determine history's greatest Briton -- putting her in third place and two notches ahead of William Shakespeare.

Voters who called in their choice by telephone thought the late Beatle John Lennon, at No. 7, was greater than Queen Elizabeth I, No. 8, and Battle of Trafalgar hero Adm. Horatio Nelson and 17th-century republican leader Oliver Cromwell (ninth and 10th, respectively).

In the end, Churchill won with 447,423 votes from those who felt his leadership during World War II made him the nation's greatest person in history. His nearest rival, 56,000 votes behind, was Victorian Age engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a key player in the birth of the Industrial Age. Evolutionist Charles Darwin was fourth.

(Thanks to UPI's Al Webb in London)


TRASHING HISTORY

Tucked away in an underground storage room, the U.S. Senate's original accounting book nearly ended up in the trash last week.

"It came just a whisker from workmen whose only orders were to clear out the room," Richard A. Baker, the Senate historian, told The New York Times.

The ledger carries entries by such luminaries of the American Revolution as John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.

The original ledger and some 59 other ledgers, spanning the 1800s to the 1950s, had lain forgotten until cleaning work was about to get under way. The dusty tomes drew someone's eye, and congressional curators were called in.


SEA TURTLE RESCUE

Marine scientists and volunteers combed Cape Cod beaches Monday for rare sea turtles caught in chilly waters off southern Massachusetts.

More than two dozen cold-numbed juvenile turtles, driven ashore by high winds over the weekend, were taken to the New England Aquarium in Boston for treatment. All but four survived.

Most of the young sea turtles are of the Kemp-Ridley species, considered the most endangered sea turtles. They number only a few thousand worldwide.

The turtles are born in the Caribbean and ride the warm Gulf Stream up the East Coast to feed off Cape Cod during summer months. While most migrate to warmer waters off Georgia and Florida as winter approaches, some get caught off the Cape as the water temperatures turn cold and literally immobilize their small bodies.

(Thanks to UPI's Dave Haskell in Boston)


MR. AND MRS. WILLIAMS

Taking a tip from privacy and security experts, White House press secretary Ari Fleischer and his new bride, Rebecca Davis, honeymooned last week on the Caribbean island of Nevis, at the plush Four Seasons Resort, registering as Mr. and Mrs. Williams.

The Washington Post Reliable Sources reports a sheepish Fleischer acknowledged the ruse and added: "We were just given security advice not to use our real names. Until you blew my cover, I've been traveling under the name of Bernie Williams. Now I will no longer be able to use that name."

Bernie Williams is a New York Yankees outfielder and Fleischer a die-hard Yankees fan, the Post notes. "Derek Jeter is too obvious and Alfonso Soriano is not credible," Fleischer said in the interview."

He immediately rejected the Source's suggestion of George Steinbrenner, adding "The whole purpose is not to become a target."

© 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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