Radio Free Vermont: Thursday, December 02, 2004

Thursday, December 02, 2004

U.S. Goods Face Penalties Oked by WTO

U.S. Goods Face Penalties Oked by WTO

"The World Trade Organization imposed penalties Friday on U.S. exports ranging from apples to textiles, escalating a trade dispute the Bush administration has struggled to defuse by unsuccessfully urging Congress to repeal legislation aimed at protecting American steelmakers."

The administration signaled it would accept the penalties short term, but also warned that the United States would aggressively protect its own trading interests and expects fair treatment from the WTO.

"We've worked hard to comply with the WTO," President Bush said, speaking to reporters in Crawford, Texas. "It's important that all nations comply with WTO rulings."



If you think the WTO has America's best interests at heart, you'd better wake up!

Mass. Gets Electronic Gun Fingerprinting

Mass. Gets Electronic Gun Fingerprinting

With a quick electronic scan of a fingerprint, gun shop owners in Massachusetts will know immediately if a customer is eligible to buy a weapon, using a system that officials say is the first of its kind in the nation.

The Massachusetts Instant Record Check System, developed over the past six years with nearly $7 million in technology grant money, will be in place in all police departments and gun shops across the state by next summer. It is currently operating in three shops and about 140 police departments.

The system gives police and gun-shop owners instant access to updated information about arrest warrants and restraining orders which was not readily accessible under the old paperwork-intensive system.

"It represents a real quantum leap in public-safety information-technology applications," said Public Safety Secretary Ed Flynn...

ACLU Seeking FBI Files on Activist Probes

ACLU Seeking FBI Files on Activist Probes

The ACLU was seeking FBI files on a broad range of individuals and groups that have been interviewed, investigated or subjected to searches by the task forces. The requests also seek information on how the task forces are funded, to determine if they are rewarded with government money by labeling high numbers of cases as related to terrorism, Beeson said.

"What we're afraid is happening is that these cities and towns can get federal anti-terrorism money by identifying local groups as threats in their areas," Beeson said.

U.N. Rejects Call for Annan's Resignation

U.N. Rejects Call for Annan's Resignation

Sen. Norm Coleman, who is leading one of five U.S. congressional investigations into the U.N. oil-for-food program, wrote in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal that Annan should step down because "the most extensive fraud in the history of the U.N. occurred on his watch."

Utah Man Pays $82 Fine in Pennies

Utah Man Pays $82 Fine in Pennies

"Court officials are apparently not amused, and have asked Petersen to come back in and offer a more "acceptable" form of payment."

"Petersen says he doesn't plan on honoring that request. He says money is money, and U.S. law provides that coins are legal tender."

Hilarious! Good for him!