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Pepsi Courts Teens With Free Beepers

PepsiCo is taking an expensive approach to keeping tabs on the teen market: It’s offering 500,000 of them beepers.

The campaign to promote Mountain Dew soft drinks comes at a time when the use of beepers by children is a hot-button issue in school systems nationwide.

PepsiCo company plans to link teens in a network, beeping teens weekly with discount offers and prize drawings.

Those who call back on a toll-free number will hear a recording from sports and entertainment celebrities - including Ken Griffey Jr., Richard Petty and Evel Kneivel. Prizes include personal snowboarding lessons, a trip to MTV’s Beach House and recording sessions at Sony studios.

“It connects us with consumers in a very tight personal way,” said Janine Bousquette, vice president of marketing at Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo.

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Jewish artifacts disappear from Damascus in fog of Syria war

new  Jewish artifacts, including ancient parchment torahs from one of the world’s oldest synagogues, have gone missing from the Syrian capital amid the tumult of ongoing civil war, with some precious items reportedly surfacing abroad.