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Roadside assistance, Vinyl records, Vacant jobs

With gas prices in the U.S. passing $4 a gallon, many motorists are purchasing less at each fill-up. As a result . . .

With gas prices in the U.S. passing $4 a gallon, many motorists are purchasing less at each fill-up. As a result, roadside-assistance organizations such as AAA report a doubling of distress calls from drivers who have run out of gas.Associated Press

Young audiophiles are rediscovering vinyl records, which they deem to have better sound quality than CDs and MP3 players. Artists such as Elvis Costello and Radiohead are releasing albums on vinyl, and sales of turntables have spiked 500 percent every year for the past four years. The Boston Globe

Venice has banned the feeding of the flocks of pigeons that swarm over St. Mark’s Square and other parts of the city. City officials say the 60,000 pigeons are destroying statues and architecture with their droppings, and are attacking tourists carrying food. Los Angeles Times

The Transportation Security Administration has fired about 200 airport screeners for stealing valuables out of passengers’ carry-on and checked luggage. Airline passengers have filed thousands of complaints, accusing TSA agents of stealing jewelry, laptops, clothing, cologne, and designer sunglasses. MSNBC.com

With eight months left in President Bush’s term, administration officials are quietly leaving in droves for new jobs. About 56 percent of the 1,100 jobs under Bush’s direct control are either vacant or filled by temporary appointees. The Washington Post

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