Money Matters - Simplified


Ric Weiland leaves $65 million for Gay Rights, HIV/AIDS

Ric Weiland, one of Microsoft's first five employees, has left 65 million dollars to various charities. These include Seattle's Pride Foundation, Lambda Legal, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Mounties pants go missing in break-in

Maple Ridge, British Columbia -- The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in British Columbia lost several pairs of pants in a burglary of a dry cleaning store, the RCMP said.

The burglary happened at 5:15 a.m. Monday in Maple Ridge, some 30 miles east of Vancouver at Anthony's Fine Cleaners, RCMP Cpl. Ryan Schlecker said in a statement.

The store owner reported a small amount of cash and an Air Canada flight attendant's jacket also stolen, but the police pants weren't noticed missing until the officer who owned them came to claim them, the Maple Ridge News reported.

Schlecker's statement said there were concerns the pants with a distinctive yellow strip down each leg could be used by someone impersonating a police officer, the Vancouver Sun reported.

Nightclub's drivers license scanning nixed

Calgary, Alberta -- A Calgary, Alberta, nightclub owner has been ordered to stop scanning patrons' drivers licenses as a security measure, the Calgary Herald reported.

Despite praise and encouragement from city police, Alberta Privacy Commissioner Frank Work said the practice at Paul Vickers' Penny Lane Entertainment group had to stop, as there was no evidence the data collection served "as a deterrent to violent behavior."

He also ordered all data collected be destroyed, the Herald said.

Vickers installed the SecureClub scanning system at three clubs he owned in Calgary in 2002, along with surveillance cameras and airport-style metal detectors, the report said.

Vickers, who owns 14 clubs in three provinces, has 50 days to appeal Wednesday's ruling.

Former Broadcom Employee Acquitted

Santa Ana, Calif. -- A U.S. judge in Santa Ana, Calif., found a former Broadcom Corp. engineer not guilty Wednesday on charges he stole 4,700 company files before leaving his job.

Tien Shiah, who said "it feels great, great to be exonerated," still faces a civil suit, The Orange County (Calif.) Register reported.

Shiah worked in Broadcom's ethernet division from 2001 to 2003, but left to take a position at Marvel Semiconductor Inc. Before doing so, he downloaded files on pricing and designs that Broadcom described as the company's "crown jewels," the report said.

In his own defense, Shiah said he took the files as part of a personal work record, not to share with his new employer.

"A contrary holding," Judge David O. Carter wrote, "would have a chilling effect on the ability of employees to move freely from one company to another."

Ex-nuclear minister convicted in Moscow

Moscow -- Yevgeny Adamov, former nuclear power minister of Russia, was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison for convictions on fraud and abuse of power charges in Moscow.

Adamov, the nuclear power minister from 1998 to 2001, was convicted of fraud and abuse of power. He was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison in Wednesday. Prosecutors had sought a 9-year prison sentence.

Adamov said he would appeal the conviction, ITAR-Tass reported.

Adamov and two co-conspirators were accused of stealing 62 percent of the shares of a joint Russian-U.S. uranium venture, a $30 million theft, prosecutors said.

Adamov, who is also wanted in the United States, said, "I never took a kopek."

U.S. authorities allege Adamov embezzled $9 million from funds meant to enhance nuclear safety in Russia. In June, a court in Pennsylvania, convicted co-defendant Mark Kaushansky on fraud and tax evasion charges, However, the court found him innocent of the charge of helping Adamov steal aid money.

Fleas swarm a Florida neighborhood

Deltona, Fla -- Swarms of fleas from a deserted Deltona, Fla., home are infesting a residential area, reportedly covering people's entire bodies when they go outside.

Fleas and rats are eating fallen fruit near the deserted home and invading the yards of nearby homeowners, WKMG-TV, Orlando, Fla., reported Wednesday.

"I walked through, into the backyard and walked back into my house and I was covered from head to toe with fleas. The fleas come from the lawn, rats and dogs they didn't take care of," neighbor Leslie Larson told the television station.

City officials reportedly said the owner of the abandoned home isn't in violation of any laws by having the fleas and rats in the yard.

"I think the city should fine these people for abandoning their house and make them come back and take care of their house," Larson said.

Cat gives birth to feisty two-faced kitten

Amarillo, Texas -- A Texas woman is caring for a feisty two-faced kitten after her cat gave birth to it in her home.

Renee Cook, home-care nurse who also works in Clements prison in Amarillo, Texas, said she knew her 3-year-old Calico and Persian mix, Amber, was going to give birth, but was surprised when one of the litter of seven had two faces, the Amarillo Globe-News reported.

"I thought it was dead at first because it was cold. But then it started to wiggle and it kept wiggling and wiggling," Cook said of the kitten's Monday birth.

Cook reportedly feeds the four-eyed kitten, whom she may name Double Trouble, formula from a syringe because the cat is unable to grasp and nurse, the newspaper said.

Swedes Complain about Marc Jacobs Scarf

Arvika, Sweden -- A scarf marketed by U.S. fashion designer Marc Jacobs looks surprisingly like one created in northern Sweden in the 1950s, it was reported Wednesday.

"It looks like a clear case of plagiarism," said Goran Olofsson, who says his father, Gosta Olofsson, long ago produced "about a thousand" of the scarves that he designed to celebrate the northern Swedish county of Harjedalen, The Local reported Wednesday.

The scarves include depictions of a small church, wooden huts, bears, flowers and the coat of arms of Harjedalen.

Olofsson says the only difference between the scarf his father designed and the scarf Marc Jacobs currently offers is that the words "Marc Jacobs since 1984" appears on the new ones, The Local reported.

Olofsson said he wrote to the designer but hasn't received an answer.

Louvre tops list of popular art museums

Needham, Mass -- TripAdvisor Wednesday announced the Musee du Louvre in Paris is the world's most popular art museum based on traffic on

Coming in at No. 2 were the Vatican Museums in Vatican City, followed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York at No. 3, the J. Paul Getty Center in Los Angeles at No. 4 and the Musee d'Orsay in Paris at No. 5.

Rounding out the top tier are the Uffizi Gallery in Florence at No. 6, the Art Institute of Chicago at No. 7, the Tate Modern in London at No. 8, the Prado Museum in Madrid at No. 9 and the National Gallery of Art in Washington at No. 10.

"These museums are truly destinations in themselves, as travelers could easily get lost in them for at least a day," Michele Perry, director of communications for TripAdvisor, said in a statement. "This top 10 is a check list to see the very finest artwork in the world."

Nancy Reagan out of hospital

Los Angeles -- Former first lady Nancy Reagan was released from a California hospital Tuesday, two days after suffering a fall, a family spokeswoman said.

Reagan, 86, had fallen in her Bel-Air home Sunday morning and was taken to St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica where it was determined she did not suffer any broken bones, the Los Angeles Times reported. Subsequent tests failed to turn up any medical problems or pinpoint why she fell, the newspaper said.

Joanne Drake, a family spokeswoman, said Reagan was "just thrilled to be home" and was "just taking a lot of phone calls from friends."

She said about 5,000 visitors to the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley Monday had written her cards and messages, and her home was full of flowers from well-wishers.