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Of Human Interest: News lite

By ELLEN BECK, United Press International   |   April 30, 2003 at 4:30 AM   |   Comments

BIKERS SAY 'I DO' BETWEEN RACES

Between races at the annual Iowa City Criterium Sunday Andrea Mugge and Lee Venteicher placed rings on each other's fingers, the University of Iowa's Daily Iowan newspaper reports.

Mugge, Iowa women's cyclist of the year, raced in the women's open-class event that began at 11:30 a.m. She was worried about her race all morning, not to mention the wedding. Her groom raced after the wedding -- neither won their events.

Bridesmaids and groomsmen dressed in silver skin suits pedaled race bikes to the Old Capital, where an arch had been made of bicycle wheels welded together and adorned with sunflowers.

After the ceremony, when the officiating minister said the "results are official" the newlyweds kissed and celebrated their union with a toast of Gatorade.


THE MISSING 'AMERICA'

The surprise entertainment at this past weekend's White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington was the legendary Ray Charles, and while the performance was grand and he sang his trademark "Georgia" song, inquisitive reporters afterward wondered by Charles didn't sing his famous rendition of "America the Beautiful," with the President and first Lady in-house.

The Washington Post's Reliable Sources caught up with association president Bob Deans, who said Charles would gladly have sung it -- for an extra $60,000.

Deans, who hired the R&B legend for $50,000, requested the number but was told it would require a full orchestra and not the quartet Charles would bring to the Washington Hilton.

"It was Ray Charles's call. They made clear to me that everything is his call," Deans told the Post. "If he had wanted to play it, if he had been in the mood, he would have."


SYRIA TONES DOWN DRESS CODE

Syria has decided to change the rigid color of its long-time school uniforms from military khaki to the brighter tones of blue, gray and pink starting next school year.

It's seen as a move reflecting the country's serious wish for peace, government-run newspapers reported Tuesday.

An informed source told United Press International the measure has been under study for some time and came in response to "the people's wish."

Recent western media reports have recently criticized Syria for its school uniforms arguing that the military-colored costumes do not reflect a Damascus declaration that peace is its strategic option.


CAMILLA, DAD, CHARLES ALL LIVE TOGETHER

The London Daily Mail says Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles will live together in Clarence House -- formerly the Queen Mother's home.

Joining the royal live-ins when they move from St. James Palace to the newly refurbished house will be Camilla's elderly father, Maj. Bruce Shand.

During her last years, the Queen Mum was careful not to be seen as endorsing Charles's relationship with Camilla, the Mail reports, yet in private she provided considerable support for the couple, allowing them to use Birkhall, her retreat at Balmoral, whenever they wished.

Her only proviso was that she could not be there at the same time.

© 2003 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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