THINGS WE DON'T UNDERSTAND
While media reports in the United States and the United Kingdom focus on the threat of war with Iraq, newspapers in Iraq seem more concerned with the love life of singer Kazem al-Saher, the British Broadcasting Corp. reports.
The Iraqi singer, who is idolized in the country, is reported to have left his wife for another woman.
The government paper al-Jumhouriya is asking al-Saher to make a public statement. "We will reserve judgment on whether to believe it until al-Saher says it is true, or that he will not take a second wife," the newspaper says.
"Kazem is everything for people here. He speaks to everyone in his songs and he is very humble. He is an ambassador for Iraq," says Walid Khaled, who works in one of a chain of music shops owned by Saher's family.
NEWS OF OTHER LIFE FORMS
After writing about sale of the town auctioned last month on eBay for $1.7 million, he thought if a town could be sold online, then why not a family?
Young's wife, Diana, and two children, Kelly, 9, and Casey, 8, initially declared the idea "crazy" but went along with a lifetime of platonic companionship including invitations to family outings and holiday gatherings for $5 million.
EBay operators pulled the ad, saying it is against company policy to sell human beings.
Young says he was aware that his ad was pulled and has hired a lawyer.
TODAY'S SIGN THE WORLD IS ENDING
According to University of Washington scientists Donald Brownlee and Peter Ward, the end of the world has begun, although disappearance of our planet is still 7.5 billion years away, the Sydney Morning Herald in Australia reports.
The scientists, who outline the Earth's doomsday timetable in their book "The Life and Death of Planet Earth," argue that higher life will be removed in much the same way that it came into being -- ecosystem by ecosystem.
Scorching heat will drive land creatures into the sea, they predict, and in the end even the oceans will become too hot for complex life forms to live.
AND FINALLY, TODAY'S UPLIFTING STORY
The Bodega Bay Lodge & Spa in California looks to make 2003 the year of "The Birds" -- Alfred Hitchcock's film classic about the bird population attacking humans.
The Lodge will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie with a year-long fundraiser to benefit the Roar Foundation/Shambala Preserve -- formed in 1972 by Tippi Hedren, the movie's star.
"The Lodge sits in close to many landmarks that were featured in the movie," Jana Wacholz, general manager, says in a statement.
The fund-raising includes seasonal "bird" specials in the hotel's award-winning Duck Club Restaurant and periodic showings of the movie.
Shambala is an 80-acre wildlife habitat that provides a haven for endangered exotic big cats and is maintained by the Roar Foundation.