with Leslie Generic, 11/19/99
LG: Here now the news, I'm Leslie Generic.
A new trade agreement between the US and China is waiting for congressional approval.
Negotiators just back from Beijing announced that under the agreement China could
join the World Trade Organization, and might pick up other memberships as well.
Negotiator: In addition to the WTO, our Chinese counterparts would like to get
into the WWF, WWO, NFL, NBA, MLB, NRA, TVA, the AFL-CIO, FFA, the BSA and the
AARP. There is also some interest there in ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and the WB.
This is a good deal. We expect to get the OK ASAP.
Leslie: Astronomers have received the most direct evidence yet that there are
other planets orbiting distant stars. Zelda Plowright reports.
Zelda: First ... it was noticed that some stars wobble under the influence of
planets. Then ... a dimming of brightness was measured ... indicating a planet
passing in front of the star. Now ... positive proof of planets outside our solar
system ... a request for UN peacekeeping troops.
Zondar, the High Exalted Commissioner of the planet Zark, has asked the UN to
intervene in a dispute between the warring nations of Gonidox and Husspitor. Zark
is 153 light years away.
UN intervention would cost 672 kazillion dollars and would have to be financed
by overdue US payments to the UN.
House and Senate Republicans have indicated they would look more favorably on
the request if President Clinton and the First Lady would agree to lead a fact
finding mission to Zark, starting immediately.
Zelda Plowright, Washington.
Leslie: A team of scientists has determined that the highest point on Earth, the
top of Mt. Everest, is actually 7 feet higher than previously thought. Reaction
came swiftly from several quarters, including the International Consortium of
Atlas Publishers. Ed Munde is the director of ICAP.
Ed: If you look at the costs ... industry wide ... of changing the height of Mt.
Everest from 29,028 feet to 29,035 feet ... in every Atlas, on every globe, on
each map, in every reference to the mountain ... and then add that to the costs
we've already incurred redrawing national boundaries in the Balkans ... this is
going to put some of our atlas publishers out of business. No question.
Leslie: Munde said ICAP is considering a lawsuit against the scientists to recover
at least part of the cost of making necessary changes. The addition of 7 feet
to the official height of Mt. Everest has also led the United Brotherhood of Sherpa
Guides to ask that it's labor contract be re-negotiated.
Internet virus watchers are preparing for a wave of aggressive computer bugs that
mimic the "Bubble Boy virus."
"Bubble Boy" infects a computer when the user simply reads an an e-mail.
In the past, it was necessary to "download" information from the internet
to be exposed to a virus, but "Bubble Boy" changes all that.
Computer nurse Samantha Matthews told an industry group that the Internet should
be treated like a global pre-school.
Samantha: (like she's talking to little kids) And what do I mean by that, everybody?
Hmmm? Anyone? Well ... It means you need to keep your things to yourself! Sharing
is good! We have positive feelings about sharing, don't we! We like it when someone
shares ... but for computers, sharing can make us SICK, SICK, SICK. So don't share!
Lwh: Matthews says the new generation of computer viruses will be very, very,
very scary, but if we hold hands (wearing gloves), it will be all right.
Survivalist groups planning for a computerized apocalypse at the year 2000 have
been joined by a new organization that predicts a baking crisis. Chuck Upchurch
Chuck: (phone) Pastry Fans for the New Millenium (PAFNEM) held a press conference
and declared that unless steps are taken soon, the year 2000 will begin with a
baked goods shortage.
Computerized ovens, sophisticated mixers, and even the egg and milk supply could
be hobbled by the millennium bug, according to alarmists from PAFNEM, including
this spokesperson, identified only as "Commandante Cruller."
Cruller: What will happen when we go to make pastry and find the dough can't be
beaten, won't rise, can't cook? The world loves baked goods and their disappearance
will cause panic! I don't know of a single egg that's Y2K compliant!
That's why we're strongly suggesting that people heed the warning signs, create
stockpiles now, and plan to spend new year's eve eating cake!
Marie Anoinette said "Let them.." and we're going to!
Chuck: Pastry Fans for the New Millenium are also spreading their message on the
Internet, at www.y2cake.com.
Chuck Upchurch, Washington.
Leslie: The Federal Reserve Bank decided to raise interest rates one quarter of
one per cent this week, spurred on by a reduction in the pool of available workers.
With low unemployment and fewer workers, experts are worried that employed Americans
will feel compelled to work more than one job. It's a concern echoed by TransNatFedBank
economist and Burger Barn drive up clerk Tom Fleming.
Tom: With such low unemployment ... may I take your order? ... it's hard to make
Customer: (filter) A hamburger Cheerful Meal, and megasize the fries.
Tom: Burger cheerful and mega. And productivity remains static unless people really
start doubling up on the work. ... What kind of beverage do you want with that?
Customer: A Giddypop, please. Diet.
Tom: That's $4.28, drive up to the first window. So I see the interest rate rise
as being a forthright attempt to slow down the economy. So do my colleagues at
the bank, and here at the Burger Barn too.
Leslie: And that's the news. I'm Leslie Generic.
Dale Connelly Reporting Home