Balance Sheet



Nanny Nation

Two Harvard economists argue that cheap immigrant labor helps native-born women enter the workforce. Michael Kremer and Stanley Watt say this produces"a fiscal benefit for the population, even without considering the taxes paid by the migrants themselves."

Blog Mania

China flips for blogging. Some 34 million blogs have popped up in the last four years, even as government officials fret about unfettered access to commentary.

Bikini Rights

So-called "bikini clubs" in the Tampa Bay area challenge a local law that bans customers from touching bar employees who are wearing bathing suits. Alcohol regulations treat the bars the same as strip clubs.


New Scientist reports that a new mucus-surfing robot could allow nonsurgical medical exams of the intestinal tract. The robot moves like a snail, sliding slowly over surfaces, which should minimize tissue damage.

Antitrust Bust

File-swap software maker LimeWire sues the Recording Industry Association of America for trying "to destroy any online music distribution service they did not own or control, or force such services to do business with them on exclusive and/or other anticompetitive terms." The suit accuses the trade association of antitrust violations and consumer fraud.


The fiends at Wal-Mart cut the prices of 300 generic prescription drugs. Some will go for as little as $4 for a 30-day supply. The horror.



Despite continued fears about identity theft, the State Department moves ahead with plans for RFID-based electronic passports. Critics warn that the chips could be hacked to reveal personal data. It is unclear exactly how the new passports will improve security at the borders.

Visit Nokhchii

Officials in Chechnya consider a proposal to change the name of the war-torn republic to "Nokhchii." The point of the "rebranding effort": to erase the negative associations with the name Chechnya.

Cheer Equity

The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights kicks off a gender equity investigation of high school sports in New York. Why? Because a parent complained that only football games and boys' basketball games included performances by cheerleaders.

Sperm Shortage

British fertility clinics suffer a sperm shortage after government authorities prohibit donor anonymity. According to the BBC, 50 of 74 clinics surveyed had little or no sperm.

Google Wall

Google wants to bring a free WiFi cloud to San Francisco, but the city government keeps blocking it. "Every meeting is like the first," one Google executive complains. The city wants 5 percent of gross revenue from the network. Officials claim the money is needed to close the city's "digital divide."

Truck Bomb

G.M. rolls out its new Chevy pickup with an "Our Country, Our Truck"" theme, complete with nuclear explosions and references to 9/11. Buy American or else.