Balance Sheet



Question Time

Two Oregon cities refuse federal requests that they question 5,000 foreigners about terrorism. Officials in Portland and Corvallis say they cannot simply question people without cause. They argue further that police would be distracted from real live crimes during the dragnet.

Global Bargaining

International trade talks in Doha, Qatar, revive hope for freer trade. The U.S. admits that its anti-dumping laws need fixing and agrees to discuss ending all farm subsidies everywhere, something developing countries desperately want.

Broadcast News

Veteran CBS newsman Bernard Goldberg writes that network news not only has a liberal slant, but revels in it. His book Bias also details the contempt elite broadcasters have for their audience, a.k.a. "white trash."

Replay Official

SonicBlue stares down threatened lawsuits from TV networks and releases ReplayTV, a digital video recorder mated to a broadband pipe. The device allows users to share recorded programs with up to 15 others. SonicBlue says it's fair use, defying content lawyers who argue that fair use is null in the digital age.

Air Marshals

Burned by worldwide ridicule, Montgomery County, Maryland, backs away from a plan to regulate smoking in private homes. The county had planned fines of up to $750 for people whose neighbors could smell cigarette smoke through the walls.

Ms. Fez

Lawmakers in Turkey update the nation's 76-year-old civil code to give women greater rights. Under the old code, husbands could legally forbid their wives from working outside the home.


Killer App

Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma blames the Internet when the headless corpse of a muckraking reporter turns up. "The Internet has become a killer. People can write whatever they like without signing their names," Kuchma says. Government officials consider licensing Web sites.

Mainline Justice

Despite official denials, talk of using truth serum on tight-lipped suspects swirls around the anti-terror probe. Proponents argue that injections are permissible if they prevent additional acts of terror.

Fast Capital

Washington, D.C., joins the list of cities using photo radar to catch speeders. The cameras are triggered when drivers go even 2 mph over the limit. Some consolation: Officers themselves have had to pay fines for tickets received while speeding to emergencies.

Raw Dealer

A Cobb County, Georgia, man is sued by a car dealer he complained about on a Web site. Jim Ellis Motors Inc. claims it was libeled when George Mantis posted that the dealer gave him the "worst service ever!" on his VW.

Name Game

As one of his last official acts, retiring Atlanta councilman Lee Morris tries to name streets for his kids. Morris introduced legislation changing the names of Dilbeck Place to Everett Lane and Junction Avenue to Jessie Junction. "The only thing they ever asked from me was this," Morris said.

Crabby Cakes

University of Maryland administrators force a student Web site, TerpIdiots.com, to change names. "Terp" is a university trademark. TerpIdiots was popular as a campuswide discussion site with topics from fraternity reform to dating tips to academic ethics.