Dunfermline, Scotland -- Chris Morrisonof Dunfermline, Scotland, noticed his Labrador retriever rattled when he walked, but had no idea the dog had swallowed 13 golf balls.
"I felt his stomach and heard them rattling around," said Morrison, who told The Daily Telegraph he regularly takes 5-year-old Oscar for a stroll on a golf course near his home. The black lab, he said, usually snoops around the ninth and 12th fairways for lost balls.
"The vet hadn't seen anything like it -- it was bizarre. I thought he might have had a couple in there, but not 13. He is a black Lab, so he is a fair size -- but to swallow 13 is quite amazing."
The balls were removed two weeks ago in an hour-long operation.
"It was like a magic trick," said veterinarian Bob Hesketh of nearby Rosyth.
Washington-- An accounting change by U.S. actuaries could dramatically increase contributions needed to cover the cost of public employees' pension funds, analysts said.
The American Academy of Actuaries is considering new standards that would require local governments to provide two estimates of returns on investments made on behalf of public employee pension funds, The Washington Post reported Friday.
Most municipalities estimate returns on investments at 8 percent, about twice the amount federal regulations permit for private firms, the Post reported.
But, the estimate may be too high. The number of public pension budgets considered underfunded jumped fivefold to 40 percent in 2006, compared with 2000, the Government Accountability Office reported.
With the real estate market in the doldrums and prices falling, many homeowners want to put a lid on their property tax assessments. Yet struggling local governments aren't in any hurry to mark down assessed values, especially in an area hit hard by the downturn. If you're in sticker shock over your recent assessment, here's a quick lesson on what to do about it.
L'alpe D’Huez, France -- Carlos Sastre won the 17th stage of the Tour de France by more than 2 minutes Wednesday, earning his first stage win in five years and the overall tour lead.
Sastre last won a tour stage in 2003, but led Wednesday's race by healthy margins over the final 6 miles of the 126.3-mile run from Embrun to L'Alpe-d'Huez.
The run included three uncharacterized climbs, including one at L'Alpe d'Huez in the final 9 miles where Sastre was able to take control.
He was timed in 6 hours, 7 minutes, 58 seconds, which was 2:03 ahead of runner-up Samuel Sanchez and Andy Schleck, and 2:13 ahead of Alejandro Valverde and Frank Schleck.
Sastre began the day 48 seconds behind Frank Schleck, his Team CSC Savxo Bank teammate, in the overall standings. The stage win Wednesday made Sastre the seventh rider this year to wear the overall leader's yellow jersey.
Beijing -- When it comes to U.S. Olympic basketball, it is no longer about extending a streak.
It is now all about pride. And perhaps some revenge.
The field for this year's Olympic men's basketball tournament contains the team that won the gold medal four years ago. That would be Argentina.
It also includes the current world champion, which would be Spain. Also present will be the team that eliminated the United States from the gold medal running in the 2006 world championship tournament. That would be Greece.
Finally, the team that won the 2002 world championships when they were held in the United States will be a part of the action in Beijing. That team is Serbia.
Yes, the Americans will be present as well. But until proven otherwise, Team USA has become just another hopeful among those fighting for Olympic supremacy.
A dividend is�a portion of a company's earnings that the firm pays directly to its shareholders. If The Tattoo Advertising Co. (Ticker: YOWCH) is earning roughly $4 in profit per share each year, it might decide to issue $1�per share annually to shareholders, then use the rest of the money to help build the business. If so, it will probably pay out $0.25 per share every three months.
Princeton, N.J. -- Rebate checks sent to U.S. taxpayers have done little to convince consumers that the economy is doing well, Gallup researchers said Thursday.
Of those respondents in a recent survey who have received checks, 43 percent indicated the U.S. economy was in "poor" shape, Gallup said. Sixteen 16 percent of the respondents with rebate checks in hand indicated the economy was in "excellent" or "good" shape, Gallup said.
The figures were nearly identical to those who hadn't received checks.
Eighty-eight percent of those who have received checks indicated the economy was getting worse. Those without checks indicated the same view 86 percent of the time, Gallup said.
"Although reports indicate that May retail spending did increase ... rebate penetration was quite low as May began and had only reached about (one-third) of all adults by the time May ended," Gallup said.
In May 2003, President Bush signed into law the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (JGTRRA), which reduced the tax rate on qualified corporate dividends and long-term capital gains to 15% (in most cases). Without an act of Congress, however, JGTRRA will not last beyond 2010.
The market was not very kind as this year began. In the dawning months of 2008, the S&P 500 index continued a drop that began last fall, before recently recovering. While the market overall is down only 2% year to date, many individual stocks have suffered worse.
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