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For broadcast on CBS Radio Network stations January 17-18, 2004:

Something to Boast About.

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries. 

One of the first signs that life is getting back to normal in Iraq, however slowly, is 
the resumption of the mail service, and one of the first signs of THAT was the issuance 
earlier this month of Iraq's first post-Saddam stamps. All the old ones showed the 
dictator. The new ones feature transportation. And you'd better believe the Coalition 
Provisional Authority made a big deal out of the new stamps.

Denmark's crown prince is getting married this spring, and of course there will be a 
pair of stamps to mark the event. The successes of Australia's cricket team and Britain's 
Rugby championship earned stamps.

Meanwhile, Japan is upset at South Korea for issuing stamps promoting the wildlife of an 
uninhabited island that both nations claim.

Stamps are still one of the best ways for a country to present a positive image or point 
of view. No hanging chads, space disasters, or scandals need apply.

As a *U-S* Postal Service spokeswoman once told me, "we don't commemorate tragedies."

And that's Stamp Collecting this week. 

I'm Lloyd de Vries, CBS News. 

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