Jockstrip: The world as we know it

ELLEN BECK, United Press International


Roman Catholic officials in Manila say there's no getting around it -- you either do it in person or you're not forgiven.


The Philippine Star newspaper reports Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines secretary general Hernando Coronel says confessions sent via text messaging, e-mail and fax might be very popular but are "unacceptable."

Coronel says protecting confidentiality is at issue with modern telecommunication technology and he's told his priests not to accept any confession that doesn't come in person.

A survey done by the conference last year found 45 percent of Catholic youth seldom receive the different sacraments, including confession.


It could be the only theme park to bite you in the neck as well as the pocketbook.

The Romanian tourism ministry is betting a Disney-style theme park complete with special effects, eerie music and a modern version of an ancient castle -- all based on the Dracula myth -- will give tourism a jump-start.

The $32 million park will include restaurants, hotels, an 18-hole golf course, a children's zoo and, of course, the obligatory castle with spooky effects.

No word whether it will also include a B-movie actor wearing white makeup and a cape who jumps out from a behind a wall to exclaim, "I vant to suck your blood!" but Romanian tourism officials promise to steer clear of cliches.

The 1897 novel "Dracula," authored by Bram Stoker, is based on the life of Romanian Prince Vlad the Impaler, and the 520-acre site being developed north of Bucharest includes an ancient monastery where Vlad is thought to be buried.


Most employment contracts say failing to do the job is not a reason to withhold severance, so departing chief executive officers in 2002 and 2001 floated away with an average golden parachute of $16.5 million.

A study on termination policy and practice by Paul Hodgson, senior research associate at The Corporate Library, says even this figure underestimates the total cost of terminating a CEO's employment, because calculations were based on only cash compensation. Companies rarely, if ever, place a figure on the value or cost of benefits or the early vesting of equity awards.

The exit packages range from a potential high of more than $82 million paid to Robert Nardelli to leave Home Depot, down to $1.4 million paid to Carl Yankowski when he departed Palm.


For the first time famed aviatrix Amelia Earhart's most personal items, including love letters, fan mail and her last signature, will be on public display at Purdue University.

The items are part of an almost 500-piece collection her family gave to Purdue last spring.

Earhart disappeared July 2, 1937, over the South Pacific Ocean in a Purdue-purchased plane while attempting the first flight around the world. Earhart had joined the Purdue faculty in 1935.

After his wife's disappearance, George Palmer Putnam donated many of Earhart's belongings, including a flight jacket, to Purdue, but kept hundreds of other treasures as last reminders of his wife.

Latest Headlines