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Heaven’s keys lost

Vatican City, March 13 (Reuters): The Gospels say Jesus gave the apostle Peter the keys to the kingdom of heaven, thereby entrusting him with the spiritual guidance of the faithful.

Now the Vatican has lost them. Vatican authorities were searching today for the left hand — the one holding the keys — of a 13th-century marble statue of the apostle in St Peter’s Basilica after the hand and keys mysteriously vanished.

Carved from a separate block of marble attached to the arm by a metal rod, the hand would have been relatively easy to remove. The Vatican was tight-lipped about what might have happened to it, saying only it was missing.

Peace call

n Los Angeles (Reuters): Thirty-plus years after she and her late husband, John Lennon, made headlines with their “Bed-In” protesting the Vietnam War, Yoko Ono is once again calling on the world to give peace a chance. Ono has taken out a series of full-page advertisements in major newspapers, most recently in Wednesday’s edition of the San Francisco Chronicle, with the simple message: “Imagine Peace ... Spring 2003.” The statement is an allusion to Lennon’s hit song, Imagine, the title track from his 1971 bestselling solo album, which peace activists around the world have adopted as an unofficial anthem. The Chronicle said Ono, 70, spent $42,000 on its ad, which was similar to spots that appeared in last week’s Los Angeles Times, the L.A. Weekly, and the Village Voice.

Car camp

Bogota (Reuters): Colombia’s auto industry wants to build a “concentration camp” for car thieves, complete with wooden shacks and barbed-wire fences. The plan, which would also include forcing thieves to grow their own food, was announced on Wednesday by the chief of Colombia’s auto parts industry association, Tulio Zuluaga. He didn’t mention the mass exterminations associated with the Nazi concentration camps of World War II.

Laptop luck

Berlin (Reuters): A thief who stole a businessman’s laptop is to dig him a new swimming pool, a court in Hanover western Germany has ruled. The 19 year-old thief escaped the standard minimum six-month suspended jail sentence for the theft of the computer worth $2,729 in October 2000, after his victim, a 41-year-old insurance agent, suggested the unusual punishment in court. Stefan Joseph, a spokesman for the Hanover court, confirmed the ruling made on Monday.

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