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By United Press International   |   Nov. 16, 2006 at 6:30 AM
ABC 'disappointed' with fake Vargas photo

NEW YORK, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- A photo of ABC News' Elizabeth Vargas breastfeeding her baby while sitting at an anchor desk in New York is a titillating fake, the network said.

The phony Vargas image accompanies a question-and-answer article with the anchor about balancing work and motherhood, scheduled to appear in next month's Marie Claire magazine.

ABC spokesman Jeffrey Schneider said Vargas saw the humor in the image, but said she would never pose for such a photo, the New York Daily News said. Schneider said ABC was "disappointed that Marie Claire chose to Photoshop her head onto a fake image," the Daily News said.

In a statement, a Marie Claire spokesperson called Vargas "a great journalist," adding that the magazine did not believe its readers would think Vargas "would nurse and report the news at the same time," the Daily News said.

In August, Vargas gave birth to Samuel Wyatt Cohn, her second child with Grammy-winning singer Marc Cohn. The couple have a 3-year-old son, Zachary.


Keep electronic games at home, school says

WILTON, N.H., Nov. 16 (UPI) -- During recess, students at a Wilton, N.H., elementary school can play card games or tag -- but not electronic games -- the school board has decided.

Recess is a time to socialize and go outside to play, parents told school administrators during a recent school board meeting. One parent said the presence of video games might create a "have-have not" situation because many children can't afford them, the Nashua (N.H.) Telegraph said.

Another parent asked: "Do they need more time staring at a screen? We shouldn't add to that."

The board agreed to include the rule in the student handbook while the board irons out a policy.

Administrators from other schools in Wilton said they prohibit electronic games for more practical reasons: possible theft or loss, or a student being distracted from school work.


Voters want their paper ballots back

SARASOTA, Fla., Nov. 16 (UPI) -- A Florida county is dumping its touch-screen voting machines in favor of paper ballots.

Sarasota County voters last week approved a charter amendment calling for "verified paper ballots," making it virtually impossible to retain the controversial $4.7 million touch-screen system, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The county will switch to optical-scan machines that allow voters to mark paper ballots with pencil or pen as if they were taking a multiple-choice test.

The change in Sarasota County comes amid a recount of the disputed race for U.S. House District 13, for the seat vacated by former Rep. Katherine Harris, who ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate.

The newspaper said critics suspect the machines prevented some 18,000 votes in the race between Republican Vern Buchanan and Democrat Christine Jennings from being recorded Nov. 7.


Italian group sues over school's mob play

CHICAGO, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- A national Italian-American organization is seeking to legally prevent a Chicago suburban school from staging a play about mobsters, alleging stereotyping.

The Rotolo Middle school in Batavia, west of Chicago, set off a national protest campaign by the Order Sons of Italy in America, who claim the play, "Fuggedaboudit: A Little Mobster Comedy" is offensive.

Attorney Joseph Rago filed a lawsuit seeking a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to stop the play. He said it is "completely racially and ethnically offensive and inappropriate for middle school children," the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The show was to have a dress rehearsal Wednesday and run Friday and Saturday nights.

The school has refused to cancel the show and officials refused to speak with reporters, the newspaper said.

It was a mother of an Italian-American student at the school who first complained but she asked not to be named to spare her son any ridicule, the Chicago Tribune reported.

© 2006 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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