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with Leslie Generic, 11/12/99

Leslie: Here now the news, I'm Leslie Generic.

Earlier this week, Sprawling Medical announced it will no longer require doctors to get prior approval for costly patient care decisions.
Instead, the giant HMO will adopt a new policy of prevention, and today the first step of that policy was presented by Sprawling Medical's CEO, Welby Kildare.

(sfx: cameras)

Kildare: We will begin, immediately, sending "an apple a day" to each of our 14 million enrollees. This is quite an expensive undertaking, but we think if we can get an apple a day to as many people as possible, this will keep the doctors from getting close enough to prescribe expensive procedures.

(sfx: hubub up)

Reporter: (off mic) I need a lung transplant!

Kildare: Yes, I have apples for all of you.

(sfx: hubub out)

Leslie: Computer software giant Microsoft endured a rough spell on Wall Street after being called a "monopoly" by the judge in it's anti-trust case with the US government. The word was not in a verdict, but rather was part of a number of "findings of fact" in the case.
One defense lawyer called it "name calling," and then called it "a tragedy."

Lawyer: We all grew up hearing "sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me." Millions of children will now know that old rhyme is a lie. The judge used the "M" word against Microsoft, and it hurt. Big time. I hope he's satisfied. He's an old dumbo dumb goofy no good snot nose hairball, and the government is a big bureaucratic bunch of gobbledeegook and super dumb horse poopy. And I'm not taking it back!

Leslie: Speculation on the next step in the legal action is that the government may require Mircosoft to break up into three separate companies. Computer industry analyst Bitsy Jorgenson is one who feels a break up is inevitable.

Jorgenson: (phone) The "Baby Bills" would be divided basically along specific lines, with each new company assuming control of different, equally important parts of the Microsoft business.
One company would focus on stifling competition through intimidation.
Another separate company would concentrate on predatory business practices, buying smaller companies and taking over their technology.
And a third company would issue upgrades and fixes on the products produced by the other two.

Leslie: In other market news, a busy trading week has just concluded on the description exchange, where pictures again gained in value over words. Chuck Upchurch reports.

(sfx: trading floor)

Chuck: It's long been said that "a picture is worth a thousand words." But by the end of this week a picture was worth anywhere from ten thousand to fifty thousand words and it looks like the sky is the limit. One giddy trader said the accumulation of decades of provocative images has put words on the run.

Trader: The pictures are so much more ... I mean ... when you get to the heart of ... it's like ... you look at it and ... wow! You know? I mean ... look! How can words ...? They can't. No way.

Chuck: Analysts say a decline in high school writing skills has contributed to a devaluation of the word, along with an exhausting over use of clichés. It's expected pictures will close even higher next week, with the limit being ... the sky! Chuck Upchurch, New York!

Leslie: There's another fairy tale in the news. Forrest Grimm reports.

Forrest: A local boy is in jail on suspicion of having maliciously cut down a beanstalk and purposely caused the death of an angry giant!
Jack ... the only son of his poor old mother ... is said to have robbed the Giant of many valuable goods including a hen that lays golden eggs!
Authorities believe Jack broke into the giant's home by way of a magic beanstalk, which grew from seeds Jack collected in exchange for the family cow, "Milky White."
The supplier of the "magic beans" has not been found and is believed to still be in the area, and police are cautioning youngsters against making "ill advised trades" with mysterious strangers. Any beans, seeds or other agricultural items received in a suspect trade should be reported to authorities immediately.

Chief of Police: We believe the beans sprouted when Jack's mother threw them out the window in a fit of anger. Parents ... if you find such contraband on your children or in their room ... it should be tested.
And children ... anything that grows up as high as the sky ... should not be climbed. And finally ... if there are any giants listening ... Know your weight. Stay off the beanstalks.

Forrest: The Health Department has requested that the Giant Impact area be avoided at all costs for the next few days, while cleanup operations continue. Forrest Grimm ... Illinois!

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

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