hThe tall and the short: New Guinness is out

hThe tall and the short:New Guinness is out
LONDON -- The tallest living man in the world, Xi Shun, who is 7 feet 8.59 inches tall, walks with Kiran Shah, left, who at 4 feet 1.7 inches, is the world's shortest professional stuntman. The two were in London on Thursday to help launch the 2006 version of the Guinness Book of Records.
Area north of Los Angelesis shaken by temblors
METTLER, Calif. -- A series of earthquakes ranging up to magnitude 4.7 shook an area north of Los Angeles on Thursday. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage. The temblors in the San Joaquin Valley about 70 miles northwest of Los Angeles began with a magnitude-3.4 jolt that was quickly followed by the 4.7 at 1:24 p.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey in Pasadena. Seismologists recorded at least several lesser aftershocks. "We felt it pretty good, like someone picked up the store and shook it," said Donald Sullivan, an employee at the Mettler Renegade truck stop and gas station. The area has had quakes before, but this one still made people jump, he said.
Appeals court issues stayon Ohio abortion law
CINCINNATI -- A 1998 state law that requires parental consent for girls under 18 to get an abortion was put on hold again Thursday, hours before it was to go into effect for the first time. The American Civil Liberties Union had sued on behalf of a Cincinnati clinic after the law was approved, effectively keeping it on hold for years while the case was in the courts. Earlier this month, a federal judge declared the law constitutional, but she stayed her ruling until Thursday to allow time for an appeal. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued another stay Thursday, in place until further notice. The Ohio attorney general's office described it as a stopgap measure to give the court more time to decide whether to delay the law further while judges consider an appeal. "We're hopeful that when the court reads the brief we will file tomorrow, they will find it is not necessary or appropriate to extend this stay for the entire appeals process, so that our law could finally go into effect," said State Solicitor Doug Cole.
New York City to installpublic street bathrooms
NEW YORK -- You don't have to be an urban planner to figure out that there aren't enough public bathrooms in New York. Just check out the lines for the ladies room at Rockefeller Center or sniff the air wafting from any alley on a Saturday night. Toiletlessness is a chronic problem in Manhattan, and many New Yorkers spend a lifetime assembling a mental map of those special hotels, coffee shops and bookstores about town that have clean restrooms open to the public. Some small amount of relief could be on the way. City officials announced this week that they have chosen a Spanish advertising company to install as many as 20 public pay toilets in Manhattan, as part of a larger project to replace 330 newsstands and 3,300 bus shelters. Under the agreement, announced Wednesday, Cemusa Inc. would install the toilets and other structures for free, and then hope to turn a profit by selling advertising on the kiosks and shelters. Patrons would pay a fee -- no more than a dollar -- to use the toilets, which would be in operation by 2007. The city would get a share of the advertising revenue -- perhaps $1 billion over 20 years.

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