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THE WINNERS AND THE LOSERS

* WINNER: Clifford Teigland of St. Cloud, Minn. While inserting a key into the back door of his postal truck, he was struck by lighting and thrown 10 feet. That makes him a winner? Yes. Though Teigland doesn't remember hearing or seeing anything, at least he lived to tell about it.

LOSER: The old notion that lighting never strikes twice in the same place. Fourteen years ago Teigland was struck by lighting while standing outside his car. Maybe the moral for him is to stay away from automotive vehicles.* WINNERS: Americans who do plenty of walking. A new study shows that if every sedentary American walked an hour a day, five days a week at a level of exertion within federal guidelines for a comfortable and sustainable exercise program, the total savings on health care and lost wages would come to $20 billion a year. Could researchers have stumbled across a new way to retire the national debt? Walk away all that red ink.

LOSERS: Young Americans. Congressional investigators report that the number of children collecting federal disability benefits has doubled in four years. Most of the increase is said to be due to mental impairments.

POSSIBLE LOSERS: Taxpayers. Now congressional investigators need to look into the possibility that many parents are encouraging their children to fake behavioral and learning disabilities so they can qualify for undeserved benefits.

* WINNERS: Black college students. A new national study shows they are less likely to drink than white students and - when they do drink - less likely to guzzle large amounts of alcohol. The rest of the country ought to take a close look at what the black college community is doing right and learn from it.

LOSERS: Female college students of all races. The same study shows the percentage of them who drink to get drunk has more than tripled, from 10 percent to 35 percent, in the past two decades.

LOSER: China - for faking statistics claiming to show the country is making great progress. Government investigators recently reported finding some 60,000 instances of faked figures last year alone.

* WINNER: China - for publicly admitting the existence of such rampant faking. Such candor is rare in a closed, communist society.

* WINNERS: Workers who like their jobs. Scripps Howard News Service reports that three recent research studies show such workers are more likely to be healthy, and healthy workers are more productive. Fine. But why did it take even one such study to confirm the obvious?