Balance Sheet



Protected Shirt

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit unanimously rules that a Virginia middle school had no good reason to ban an "NRA Sports Shooting Camp" T-shirt just because it had a gun on it. The school district could not show that the shirt had caused any disturbance.

Kyoto Climax

Signals from Moscow are typically murky, but it appears that Russia will help kill the Kyoto global warming treaty for good. Russian officials obviously do not like the cost of Kyoto, but they want to avoid upsetting Europeans who love it.

Download Dash

Mega-retailer Wal-Mart joins the great stampede to sell music online. The competition is expected to drive song prices below the 99 cents charged by Napster and Apple's iTunes.

Metal Fatigue

Research published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology finds that mercury levels in tuna off Hawaii have not risen in 27 years. "We have about tripled the mercury in the atmosphere, and therefore it should be tripled in the ocean, right? But maybe mercury that occurs in fish is a natural thing, and it may have been there all along," one author explains.

Hot Records

The Pentagon begins to investigate how an Army contractor came to have almost 5 million passenger records from JetBlue airline. The Transportation Security Administration's role remains unclear.

Shored Up

Responding to complaints about poor service, Dell moves some support jobs back to the U.S. from India. The decision shows that the best solution isn't always the cheapest, allaying fears of a "race to the bottom."


Booze Hounds

A Washington, D.C., plastic surgeon represented by super-lawyer David Boies files suit against liquor companies, charging that they market products to minors in order to hook them on booze.

Foot Soldiers

The ruling coalition in Iraq continues to pay all the workers at state-run shoe factories and other firms in order to keep the workers off the streets.

Panty Waste

Responding to political discord in the South, the Bush administration hits Chinese bras and nightgowns with quotas, bringing promises of reprisal from the Chinese.

Doctors' Disorder

Researchers find that less than 10 percent of American hospitals make full use of computers to catch errors and standardize doctors' orders. This despite a 2000 report which found that medical errors kill almost 100,000 people and cost some $38 billion yearly.

Dirty Money

The Treasury Department vows to blacklist institutions that don't comply with currency and customer tracking rules. The primary targets are foreign banks accused of "money laundering," i.e., not reporting cash to Uncle Sam.

Clogged Filter

Research company Gartner advises corporations not to depend on anti-spam laws like the federal CAN-SPAM to stop spam. "CAN-SPAM will likely not change spammer behavior," its report concludes.

Justice Delayed

Students who are tardy to school for a third time receive $165 citations from Whittier, California, cops. The Whittier High School principal explains that too many kids were coming in late.