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Bush supporters react to protesters in Washington

WASHINGTON D.C. -- The cold rain that fell on the nation's capital Saturday could soak through your gloves and make your hands numb in less than 10 minutes. It was enough to make protesters think twice before leaving their hotel rooms. The protesters gathered in front of the Supreme Court, shouting, "What do we want? Justice. When do we want it? Now." They carried signs; some were serious --"Hail to the Thief" -- some not so serious -- "Four years of hee-haw."


Diverse group protests inauguration

WASHINGTON -- We came to support Bush some came to see the spectacle, but in the early morning hours, people along the inaugural parade route had other intentions. The crowd of protesters grew restless after two hours of waiting in the rain. Early reports said Pennsylvania Avenue was controlled by protesters and that there were few Bush supporters in attendance on the street.


City ready for crowds, protesters

Saturday, when the inaugural ceremonies peak, both protesters and celebrators will take to the streets of Washington, D.C. Thursday marked the opening of the weekend-long ceremonies with the aerial entrance of six paratroopers and performances by Ricky Martin, Brooks and Dunn and Wayne Newton, among others. Boxing legend Muhammad Ali attended the ceremonies.


FCC compromises in merger

Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Committee gave the green light to the merger of AOL and Time Warner -- with a couple of exceptions. These conditions are tailored to provide open access to competitors on AOL Time Warner's distribution channels. The imposed regulations left both consumer groups and the new company's executives satisfied. Gene Kimmelman, co-director of the Washington Office of Consumers Union told The New York Times, "the combined actions of the FCC and the FTC have transformed a merger that threatened competition into one that could actually expand consumers' choices for high-speed Internet and interactive TV services."


Forest Service issues directive

In a speech that conveyed a clear challenge to President-elect George W. Bush and his incoming administration, outgoing U.S. Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck unveiled an initiative Jan. 8 that calls for the protection of the nation's remaining old growth forests. Speaking at a conference at Duke University, Dombeck said the time has come for the Forest Service to take the "long view" and enact policies that prohibit the harvesting of old growth trees, according to the Associated Press.


Eco-terrorists take credit for N.Y. fires

ELF has struck again. The Earth Liberation Front, a radical environmental group active since 1992, took credit for the arson of three luxury houses during New Year's weekend. The homes were being built on a former peach farm in Long Island, New York. The fires came at the end of a year of damage in Monroe County.



Oklahoma City bomber nears execution

Today, a judge is expected to set an execution date for convicted Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. If no further appeals are filed, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Matsch, who presided over his sentencing and granted McVeigh's request to waive his right to appeal and expedite his execution, will be rendering the execution date, which could happen within 60 days.


Leaders prepare for slowing economy

The slowing U.S. economy and risk of a recession have world leaders at the edge of their seats. The United States' $8.2 trillion economy is the major engine fueling many other countries' strong growth, including progress in Mexico, Japan and Southeast Asia. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is attempting to end such worries. Greenspan unexpectedly lowered short-term interest rates Wednesday. Although this is usually seen as a positive sign, some interpret it as an ominous harbinger of things to come. A lowering of rates means people can borrow money at cheaper rates, and is usually expected to stimulate spending because loans cost less.


Rights movement gains momentum

Many of the workers in sweatshops and factories in Central America are young women who are struggling to live. The wages are low and the working conditions are terrible.


Japanese geisha culture fading into history

KYOTO, Japan -- As the dusk falls, teahouses light paper lanterns on front porches, casting a dim yellow light on narrow stone-paved alleys. They open the doors to the flower and willow world of geisha. This has been the routine for hundreds of years.


Battle for presidency drives partisanship

As election day has stretched out to election season, the process has begun to resemble a World Series in infinite overtime. Each candidate has stepped up to the plate, backed by a team of lawyers.


Europe's women pioneering equality

The United States might consider itself a pioneer concerning women's rights, but most European countries make the nation look positively old-fashioned.



Women's roles in Islamic world changing

An Arab proverb states "every daughter is a handful of trouble," but it is one of the tenets of Islam that "whoever doeth good to girls, it will be a curtain to him from hellfire."


'New Economy' faces market challenges

The heralded "New Economy" -- supposedly cured from traditional booms and busts of the past -- appears to be facing a speed bump. Economic indicators are pointing more toward a hard landing, meaning a recession. A recession occurs when the real Gross Domestic Product (subtracting inflation) is negative for two consecutive quarters, which hasn't happened in the United States since 1990-91.


Investors to examine Federal Reserve trends

This week, the market will look at economic data, trying to determine how much the economy is slowing. Many investors are anxious to see Friday's unemployment report. Economists are predicting the unemployment rate will increase slightly to 4 percent from October's 3.9 percent, according to a survey by Briefing.com.


Flu vaccines still on hold

The IU Health Center has still not received its full influenza shot vaccinations shipment after two and a half months of delay, forcing it to cancel all flu clinics scheduled to take place this past week and next. The Health Center hopes its larger supply will arrive next week.


AIDS epidemic in Africa worsens

Bahla Nabwegki is an immigrant who earns a dollar a day. He bought a one-pedaled bicycle with his seven-dollar weekly pay. Another two dollars went to reinforce its frame. After he removed the chain, Nabwegki was ready to use his bicycle, not so much for cycling, but as a trolley for carrying as much as 250 kilograms of coal across distances of 30 to 40 miles.


Bidding wars continue

Earlier this month, PepsiCo made an offer to acquire Quaker Oats Co., formally starting a bidding war for the company. Rumors of a sale started in March for Quaker, which produces brands such as Aunt Jemima, Captain Crunch cereal, Rice-A-Roni and, more importantly, Gatorade sports drink.



European Union asks to sanction U.S. exports

Friday, the European Union asked the World Trade Organization for permission to slap $4 billion in sanctions on U.S. exports, making it the largest punitive sum ever requested.


Retail offers measure of economy

This week, little economic news will be released for the markets. Investors have been scrutinizing economic data in recent weeks, attempting to determine how much the economy is cooling off. One measure of the economy that might be looked at in the near future is retail sales. Friday's lines at the checkout counters might be a good indicator of how much consumers will spend this holiday season. Finally, the markets will still be looking for an resolution to the never-ending presidential election.


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