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with Leslie Generic, 12/17/99

Leslie: There are no negotiations today between corporations and their labor unions.
The negotiators who negotiate labor settlements walked out at midnight last night when their contract expired. A spokesman for the International Brotherhood of Labor Conflict Resolution Professionals was adamant that there would be no movement in the talks until concessions were made.

Spokesman: We're not going to negotiate because negotiation is our work, and we won't work unless we're paid. We're talkers, and we won't even begin talking until this is settled. And then, there shouldn't be anything to talk about.
Are we prepared to wait? You bet. If you've ever been in a negotiation, you know that waiting around is a major part of it. There's nobody better than us!

Leslie: Not only are negotiators refusing to negotiate on their own behalf, but the negotiators who would negotiate for the corporations are also members of the negotiator's union and are also refusing to return to work. No talks are scheduled.

On Capitol Hill today, a bi-partisan group of Senators and Representatives held a press conference to call attention to a recent survey that showed most Americans believe their elected officials are "in the pocket" of organized lobbying interests.
Zelda Plowright reports ...

Zelda: Twenty four members of congress braved the rain on the capitol steps to denounce the finding that voters think they are unduly influenced by lobbyists.
Congressman Loomis Beechly was one of those who took the microphone, alongside Baxter Thomas of the National Nude Swimming Association.

Loomis: This report is an insult.

Baxter: (stagewhisper) It shows that people don't understand ...

Loomis: It shows that people don't understand ...

Baxter: The real relationship we have ...

Loomis: The real relationship we have ...

Baxter: With our friends in the lobbying industry.

Loomis: With our good, good friends in the lobbying industry.

(sfx: applause)

Loomis: (aside) Is it OK that I added those "goods," there?

Zelda: Congressman Beechly added that his recent move to have Skinnydipping added to the Bill of Rights is unrelated to his financial relationship with the National Nude Swimming Association. Zelda Plowright, Washington.

Leslie: Yet another fairy tale has surfaced in the news. Forrest Grimm reports from Wheeling, West Virgina.

Forrest: When Jack and Jill went up a hill just outside Wheeling, little did they know how frightening it would be for themselves and their families. Eyewitnesses say that just as they neared the top of the hill, Jack fell down and "broke his crown."

Witness: I was at the bottom of the hill. I saw him fall, and then there was a long kind of deep silence. Then suddenly here he comes rolling down the incline ... and Jill came tumbling after him. Maybe if he'd let go of the pail he wouldn't have been so bruised up.
I've seen enough rescue shows on TV ... I told them to lie still and then I called 911.

Forrest: It took rescuers and paramedics 3 hours to get Jack and Jill stabilized and transported to Wheeling General Hospital. Jack is listed in fair condition and is being treated for crown trauma. Jill was released once her dizziness subsided.
Authorities are questioning the parents about their decision to send the children on such a risky errand, and the unusual choice of siting a well at the top of a hill.
Forrest Grimm, West Virginia!

Leslie: The National Storm Tracking and Naming Administration has announced it will soon implement a plan to give less threatening names to hurricanes that threaten the Gulf Coast. The move comes in response to a Florida Tourism Industry request that the government do what it can to ease public concern about potential storms interfering with their vacation plans. The NSTNA plans to use names of pets and other friendly animals to label hurricanes in the future, with titles such as Spot, Fido, Princess, Puff, Mickey and Goofy.

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