? In Norway, Justice Minister Einar Doerum wants to let witnesses testify in court anonymously. Defense attorneys have objected on the grounds that if they don't even know the witnesses' names, it will be difficult to cross-examine them.

? In Milford, Illinois, a beagle puppy recently made the mistake of barking at the workers at Mayor James Cook's grain elevator. You'd probably expect Cook to call animal control, or else just chase the little dog away. Instead, he whacked it a few times with a shovel, killing it.

? Boca Raton, Florida, already bars police and firefighters from smoking, on the job and off it. Now it wants to extend the ban to its entire 1,100-strong city labor force. Workers caught smoking, even in their own homes, would be fired.

? Things could be worse there, though. Athens, Georgia, is reportedly mulling a ban on hiring workers with high cholesterol.

? In Waukesha County, Wisconsin, police suspected that some teenagers were serving alcohol at a party. But the cops didn't have a warrant, and the teens wouldn't let them in to confirm their suspicions. Now District Attorney Paul Bucher has told the police to forget such legal niceties: If they suspect underage drinking, they should go right in.

? Craig Paternoster, a sophomore at Pennsylvania's Meyers High School, was suspended for three weeks after he wouldn't stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. That might seem to violate the Supreme Court's 1943 decision saying students can't be punished for refusing to recite the pledge. Not so, says the school: We didn't suspend him because he wouldn't pledge allegiance to the flag. We suspended him because he wouldn't write an essay explaining his decision.

? Who says the Gulf War was fought just over oil? Liberated Kuwait wants to wipe out parties attended by unmarried men and women. The government has ordered restaurants and clubs to help police enforce the ban by removing the doors from their private dining rooms. More than 150 women have been arrested so far.

? In Fort Myers, Florida, Sheriff John McDougall has been using his official Web site to attack Planned Parenthood, gays, atheists, feminists, music videos, and the ACLU. He flavors his assaults with chestnuts like this: "To our disgrace as a nation we have caved in to the wishes of the depraved." The lawman defends his site, arguing that it's a form of crime prevention. McDougall isn't new to controversy. When Ice T released the song "Cop Killer," he tried to have the rapper charged with sedition.