Re: ~/.newsrc woes
Typically, clients that use .newsrc keep a separate file in .newsrc format for each server. (Mozilla does this, as does slrn)
I like this! I found it just about the time I was trying to write my own script to do this using lynx. (Would have had to press a key in mutt or sylpheed to make it work), but I'm so glad I could find this. I just run it as a cronjob every hour!