Countdown’s Top Five

  1. Michael Jackson`s movie suggestion, featuring himself as a hot rod driven by a small boy.  
  2. The top car star of all time, according to a poll of car enthusiasts, the 1969 Dodge Charger, playing the General Lee on TV`s "The Dukes of Hazzard."
  3. We put it to the vote.  America has spoken.  " Shake Your Bon-Bon " is voted the favorite new William Hung hit, this by COUNTDOWN viewers. 
  4. Three, women in control. 
  5. Martha Stewart steps down as head of her company, but maintains an editorial position
  6. And a trend of working mothers leaving their careers to spend more time at home with their kids.
  7. A reminder that even presidents might benefit from listening to their mothers.
  8. Nine people, eight of them children, killed in the biggest mass murder in Fresno's history.
  9. An update on the Utah woman who doctors say refused a C-section in order to save her unborn twins.  Today, Melissa Rowland pleaded not guilty to murder.  The "Desert News" reports a California couple says that Rowland called them from jail and promised to give them a baby boy in return for $5,000 in bail money.
  10. Top Four cults in California:
  11. The Raelians.  The group claims it has successfully cloned two human babies.  There are about 1,000 members in the U.S., with chapters in California, Florida, and the Northeast.  
  12. Heaven`s Gate.  In 1997, 39 cult members committed suicide near San Diego so they could meet a UFO hiding behind the Hale-Bopp comet.
  13. The Manson family.  Its leader, Charlie Manson, ordered his followers to kill on command.  In 1969, members of his cult killed actress Sharon Tate at her Beverly Hills mansion. 
  14. The People's Temple founded by Jim Jones.  His group migrated from Ukiah, in Northern California to San Francisco, and later Los Angeles.  In November of 1978, more than 900 people died in Jonestown, Guyana, the members drank cyanide laced grape punch.
  15. The electoral influence of the Madrid terror attack, Bush`s strong ally voted out of office, and his replacement now promising to pull Spanish troops out of Iraq within just a couple of months.
  16. Elsewhere in the war on terror, an apparent terrorist bombing was defused today, less than five minutes before it was set to explode.  This, outside the American consulate in Karachi, Pakistan.

Five numbers that shape this day

  1. Fourteen million, the number of Americans who use mass transit trains and busses on a daily basis. 
  2. $515 million, the amount proposed by Senate Democrats, Friday, to increase rail security and safety. 
  3. $1.77, the national average for a gallon of gas, the highest price ever on record. 
  4. 48, the number of babies born in January and February in one Everett, Washington baby hospital, more than twice normal rate. 
  5. Nine months since the aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln, returned to its port in Everett, Washington.  You do the math. 

Today’s Top Three Newsmakers

  1. Porn movie director James DiGiorgio, who took time off from making such films as "Boob Watch" and "Boob Watch 2" to direct a public service announcement for kids, complete with puppets, for a Christian anti-pornography group.
  2. The Trufresh Company in Suffield, Connecticut.  They say they have a new technique that brings some of their lobsters back to life after being frozen. 
  3. The unnamed German thief who tried to steal donated clothing from one of those big metal charity bins by climbing in through the small slot on the front.  He, of course, became trapped inside the dark metal box.  Police showed up hours later and found the man begging for a light for a cigarette.

Let's Play 'Oddball'!

  1. According to a University of Arizona study, the keyboard that typed this story is dirtier than a toilet
  2. The city of Aliso Viejo, California, is safe tonight, after reacting swiftly to a potentially deadly substance that had insinuated itself into the daily life of the unsuspecting hamlet:  Dihydrogen monoxide.
  3. The Perito Moreno glacier in Buenos Aires where more than 10,000 tourists to have flocked to get a firsthand view of awesome power of global warming in action.  Actually, it's a natural phenomenon.

Keeping Tabs

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