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By United Press International   |   Jan. 6, 2005 at 6:30 AM   |   Comments

Court to Knievel: 'Pimp' is compliment

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- A caption on ESPN's Web site that called Evel Knievel a "pimp" most likely was intended as a light-hearted compliment, a federal appeals court ruled.

The 66-year-old daredevil and his wife sued the TV network for an April 2001 caption that said, "Evel Knievel proves that you're never too old to be a pimp," with a picture of Knievel. The stuntman was on his motorcycle with his arms around his wife, Krystal, and another woman, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The Knievels said they were libeled by the caption and Knievel lost work after the caption appeared. However, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, on a 2-1 vote Tuesday, upheld a federal judge's dismissal of the suit.

In context, the caption "was most likely intended as a compliment," Judge A. Wallace Tashima said in citing one definition of pimp as being someone who is "cool." Any reasonable reader would have considered the word "an attempt at humor," the judge said of the court's ruling.


Brits make Jack & Emily top baby names

LONDON, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- In what could be a new British tradition, the names of Jack and Emily retained their standing as the most-often-given names to babies born in 2004.

It was the 10th year in a row that Jack topped all others when it came to naming boys, and it was the second year running that Emily held a similar honor among infant girl monikers, the BBC reported.

Jack, Joshua, Thomas, James and Daniel have been the top five boys' names since 2002, England's Office for National Statistics reported. Behind Emily in 2004 were Ellie, Jessica, Sophie and Chloe, which had been the most popular girls' name until 2003.

Mohammad entered the top 20 boys' names for the first time, and Evie was the highest new entry in the top 50 names for baby girls, the BBC reported.


Texas snowball melts eBay wallets

SUGAR LAND, Texas, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Although they could find an abundance in the Midwest Wednesday, people bid fast and furiously for Texas snowballs being auctioned off on eBay.

One auction, for a snowball made Christmas Eve in Laguna Vista, Texas, was up to $1,225 with 44 bids as of midday Wednesday. Another, hawked as "the purest south Texas snow" from McAllen, was up to $997.

Patricia Lucas, 18, of Sugar Land was among the Texans trying to turn the white into green, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The sale is "probably weird for people who live up north and see snow all the time," Lucas said. But it had been decades since Houston had snow for Christmas and more than 100 years since snow fell in the Rio Grande Valley.

Lucas said she selling only one snowball and keeping others "maybe forever."

"People sell crazy stuff on eBay, and I figured someone would buy a snowball," Lucas said.


Nurses lose jobs over French grammar

MONTREAL, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Two nurses praised for their excellent work were fired from an English-speaking hospital in Montreal because they failed a French test.

Elizabeth Davantes and Eulin Gumbs questioned the fairness of their firings, which the Jewish General Hospital ordered when the Order of Nurses of Quebec refused to extend their temporary licenses, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Hospital staff in the province are required to speak both English and French and both nurses failed the French grammar test at least twice.

In a statement, the hospital said Davantes and Gumbs were excellent employees, one of who had been working there two years and the other, five years.

A head nurse at Jewish General Hospital said losing the pair comes at a bad time since hospitals in Quebec are suffering from a shortage of nurses.

© 2005 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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