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Taxes, Percodan and Other Monday Meanderings

U.S. Business

First Christmas. Then Chanukkah. And now, Lunar New Year! Asian-Americans have been able to celebrate this most important holiday for decades with little outside commercial interest. Until now. Three corporate giants --


(DIS) - Get Walt Disney Company Report



(T) - Get AT&T Inc. Report


Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Bank of America Corp Report

-- will commemorate the Lunar New Year with promotional campaigns. In the

Baltimore Sun


For more information on Lunar New Year, check out:

TheStreet Recommends

They'll spam you, they'll squeal on you and now they're rude to you. The

Chicago Tribune's

"Ask Jim" plays cyber-Miss Manners when it comes to



filtered mail message.

South America has more in common with us than we thought. The

Chicago Tribune

reports that 20 years after Brazil began brewing ethanol in response to the Middle East oil crisis, demand for the fuel is stagnant.

You'd think that Boston was about ready to have another tea party from its coverage of taxes in today's

Boston Globe


And it tastes just like chicken! "You'd never tell the difference by taste," said Richard West, after nabbing a free sample of irradiated hamburger at a three-day hospitality convention last week in Minneapolis. Others echoed such glowing critiques. In the

Minneapolis Star Tribune


They just haven't got time for the pain.


, maker of




, is trying to make a comeback after a tumultuous parting with

DuPont Merck

. In the

Philadelphia Inquirer


Business Abroad

With pictures like this, they're bound to succeed... The

Times of London

reports that

Getty Communications


will become one of the world's biggest providers of images and footage, with a deal to acquire


, the international sports picture agency.

After all, the Queen of England is quite a looker... The

South China Morning Post

reports that collectors have depleted stocks of coins bearing

Queen Elizabeth's



Financial Post

reports that after years of trying,

Kmart Canada

will combine with

Hudson's Bay's



How can you beat that Sunday night lineup?


has a major subscriber lead over its main rival,

Optus Communications

. Foxtel is a cable pay-TV joint venture between Rupert Murdoch's

News Corp.


(NWS) - Get News Corporation Class B Report

NWS ADR) and


. In the

Sydney Morning Herald


Monday Meandering

Take a look at the offerings of the

American International Toy Fair

with the

Baltimore Sun


Articles Elsewhere

, toy lover extraordinare, anticipates that the megahit of 1998 will be the "Nervous Hamster" keychain. This scruffy little amusement shakes uncontrollably after pulling its tail. Slightly disturbing, yet highly amusing. Check it out at your local

F.A.O. Schwartz


Also available: Nervous Rabbit and Nervous Hedgehog.

For more information on handling hamsters, check out:

Mon Dieu! The

Times of London

reports that French bakers are beating themselves with their baguettes. "Antonio Teixera, 32, born in Portugal, was awarded the Grand Prix de la Baguette at a time when Gallic bread is facing a renewed assault from the white sliced loaf."

Talk about a sweet tooth... The


reports that about "100 baboons invaded the wards at a hospital in Marsabit, Kenya, and plucked dextrose fluid drips from patients being treated for malaria and typhoid."