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Is Ernie Next Big Toy?

Halloween isn’t even here yet but the hunt is on for Christmas toys.

After the Tickle Me Elmo craze of 1996, parents are already buying what they think will be this year’s toy sensation.

That’s drying up stocks of Tyco Toys’ Sing & Snore Ernie, Microsoft’s Actimates Barney, Star Wars figures and virtual pets. Fueling some of this rush are “hot” toy picks from magazines and trade publications.

That was especially true for Sing & Snore Ernie, which sings ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” before it fades off to sleep and begins snoring. After Family Fun magazine last week picked Ernie as one of its top toys for 1997, sales shot higher, and are now running at about 10 times what they were in early October.

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Geologists say North Korea’s nuclear test site has collapsed

new  A study by Chinese geologists shows the mountain above North Korea’s main nuclear test site has collapsed under the stress of the explosions, rendering it unsafe for further testing and necessitating monitoring for any leaking radiation.