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with Leslie Generic, 1/07/99

Leslie: Here now the news ... I'm Leslie Generic.
Volatility in worldwide financial markets has dominated headlines this week, but analysts are telling investors to remain calm and to pursue their long term strategies. Stock Market expert Darrel Dwight spoke to reporters late in the week.

(sfx: trading floor w/ questioners all around)

Darrel: (nervous) It's not a bubble bursting! I wouldn't say that.
A downturn? NO! A down tic? No, a "tic" sounds nervous, and we're not nervous! An adjustment? Never! Profit taking? No, that's too harsh. It's just ... it's just a ... a settling! Yeah, that's it. A gentle ... settling.

Reporter: Is it a crash?

Darrel: EEEE! Crash? No, no, NO! It's not a crash.

(sfx: trading floor w/ questioners fades)

Leslie: The president has announced that he will re-appoint Alan Greenspan as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Wall Street reacted positively to the announcement, and all the presidential candidates also stated that they would like to keep Greenspan in the Fed Chairman's position. One candidate, Gary Garfield, went a bit further in his endorsement.

(sfx: outdoor)

Gary: If elected president ... I will re-appoint Alan Greenspan again. If he should die, I will have his body frozen in a government lab. We will put his brain in a jar and consult it on economic policy, and I will devote all available federal resources to the important job of re-animating him as soon as possible. This is my promise to you!

(sfx: applause up and fade)

Leslie: The Kremlin has denied a widely published report that Boris Yeltsin's daughter actually prompted his resignation on December 31st, and then covered her tracks by having Vladimir Putin dismiss her from a meaningless government position. An official news release explained that Yeltsin was ready to step down and made the decision himself. The former President then later appeared to confirm the denial, and to announce that he will begin his retirement by playing the title role in a springtime production of King Lear.

Yeltsin: (Russian)

Translator: How toothy a serpent it is ... with child ... when the thanks ... are less.

Leslie: The award for the Most Painful Attempt to Describe the Meaning of the Millennium, the "Millie", has been awarded to Helen Wiggins of the Akron Cage Liner for the following passage, which appeared in the newspaper's January 1st issue.
"For the smallest of moments, six billion souls paused, took a breath, and bathed in the excruciating and delightful experience of being alive, together, all of us, aware of each other and ourselves in the light of God's creation, with the incandescence of a hundred million skyrockets punctuating the inky blackness of night." Wiggins accepted her award at the Purple Prose Club of Manhattan.

Wiggins: (ponderous) Uh, I'd like to give , no ... offer ... bestow ... lavish, yes! My most heartfelt ... my deepest ... most sincere and grateful ... my happy, no, my humble ... uh .. thanks. Yes. (recouping) I'd like to lavish my most sincere and humble thanks. Upon you.

Leslie: 1999 marked the official end of "The Decade of the Brain," as mandated by Congress. Experts say the decade's research yielded some startling conclusions about the brain, including the news that human brains do produce new cells throughout life, contrary to what was previously thought. Chuck Upchurch reports.

Chuck: Skeptics are sticking with the story that brains have all their cells intact at birth and are formed by getting smaller, the way a man with a chain saw carves a block of ice. But a new group of researchers say brains grow from within, like mushrooms or sea monkeys. At a recent forum to dissect the "Decade of the Brain" results, an argument broke out about how the brain works ...

(sfx: scuffling and shouting)

... with the brain growth side claiming the dying brain contingent was brain dead, while the dying brain group alleged that the growing brain group was delirious from tumors. Each side told the other to "put up or shut up," but neither one did either. Chuck Upchurch, Washington.

Leslie: The Labor department has announced that employers will be liable for workplace safety issues for employees who telecommute from their homes. Brick Walters reports.

Brick: Employers were stunned at the decision, which means they will have to assure that home keyboards, computers, chairs and offices are not arranged in such a way that they injure workers. The employers will also have to certify that home offices are well lit, free of radon and carbon monoxide, and not loaded up with dust bunnies or pet hair or dirt wads that might cause allergies. Under the proposed regulation, some of the nation's largest employers will also have to finally do something about the siding and that place where the frame on the basement window is rotting, those rickety front steps and the threshold that Uncle Roger nearly trips over every time he comes by, especially if the stairs are regularly used to gain access to the office. Out in the field, I'm Brick Walters.

Leslie: And that's the news. I'm Leslie Generic.

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