We had it wrong all along. The French don't hate us ... they hate themselves!
According to an opinion poll published Friday, the French dislike themselves even more than Americans dislike them, Reuters reported.
The survey of six nations, carried out for the International Herald Tribune daily and France 24 TV station, said 44 percent of French people thought badly of themselves against 38 percent of U.S. respondents who had a negative view of the French.
Only 14 percent of Germans, 25 percent of Italians, 29 percent of Spaniards and 33 percent of Britons had a negative view of the French, according to the Harris/Novatris poll, which questioned more than 1,000 people in each country.
Looked at from another perspective, the Germans have the highest regard for their neighbors, with 73 percent saying they had a positive view of the French.
By contrast, some 63 percent of Italians had a positive view of the French, 54 percent of Spaniards, 51 percent of French, 41 percent of Britons and just 35 percent of Americans.
Relations between France and the United States plunged following Paris' fierce opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
Thursday's poll said 74 percent of Americans said whoever wins the second round of France's presidential election on May 6 should try to improve relations with the United States.
Some 41 percent of French agreed, but 20 percent believed Paris should be even more distant with Washington.
Not Just Another Sleepy Commuter
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — A dead passenger traveled unnoticed for at least half a day on an executive passenger train, an Indonesian newspaper reported Friday.
Anxious family members found the body of Edy Haryanto, 55, sitting in a locked lavatory on Thursday afternoon, more than a day after he had boarded with a group of friends in the central Javanese town of Tegal, the Warta Kota newspaper reported.
His family became worried when Haryanto didn't get out at the station in Jakarta at the end of the 6-hour journey and his cell phone went unanswered.
The body traveled back and forth between Tegal and Jakarta before a janitor told the family he had been unable to clean one lavatory because the door was locked, the report said.
The cause of the death was not immediately clear, but Haryanto had recently suffered a stroke, it said.
Dina Nurhandayani, the man's 29-year-old daughter, said she planned to file a complaint of negligence with the state-owned train company PT Kereta Api Indonesia.
I'm a God-Fearing Man ... and I Can Prove It
CINCINNATI (AP) — A man arrested on Wednesday for allegedly trying to use a stolen credit card at a drugstore got a break from a judge after passing a sort of Bible quiz.
When Eric Hine appeared in court this morning, his attorney described him as a church-goer, hoping the judge would set a low bond.
Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge John Burlew was skeptical and asked Hine to recite the 23rd Psalm.
He did: all six verses. Some in the courtroom applauded.
Burlew was satisfied and released Hine on a $10,0000 appearance bond, meaning he'll have to pay that amount if he doesn't show up for his next court date.
Not Quite Entry-Level
HAYS, Kan. (AP) Sitting on the front row in her college classes carefully taking notes, Nola Ochs is just as likely to answer questions as to ask them. That's not the only thing distinguishing her from fellow students at Fort Hays State University. She's 95, and when she graduates May 12, she'll be what is believed to be the world's oldest person to be awarded a college degree.
She didn't plan it that way. She just loved to learn as a teenager on a Hodgeman County farm, then as a teacher at a one-room school after graduating from high school and later as a farm wife and mother.
"That yearning for study was still there. I came here with no thought of it being an unusual thing at all," she said. "It was something I wanted to do. It gave me a feeling of satisfaction. I like to study and learn."
The record Ochs will break, according to Guinness World Records, belongs to Mozelle Richardson, who at age 90 in 2004 received a journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma.
"We should all be so lucky and do such amazing things. Her achievement challenges us all to reach for our own goals and dreams," said Tom Nelson, AARP chief operating officer in Washington.
Rule 1. of Dentistry: A Nice, Clean Workspace
We'd all like to get a break on dental work — but not in this filthy garage.
A Florida man was held Wednesday on charges that he performed dental work on customers without a license in his "filthy" garage, authorities said, according to the Associated Press. Roger Bean, 60, was arrested Tuesday and held on $6,000 bond.
Bean performed denture fittings and made false teeth in his garage, charging just $200 for a full set of dentures, a procedure that typically costs more than $2,000, authorities said. But he was not licensed to practice in Florida.
Palm Beach County Sheriff's detective Don Zumpano said there were "health risks with operating this type of facility outside of your house," adding that Bean's workspace was "filthy."
Neighbors and clients, however, praised Bean for saving them thousands of dollars.
Ron St. Mary, 73, head of the neighborhood crime watch, said Bean is no criminal.
"He's helping the old people who don't have a few dollars," he said. "I think the world of him."
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