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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.

(sfx: cameras)

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 reports.

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
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 productivity rise.

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.

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