Saturday, February 05, 2005


Good News For My Hometown Winston-Salem (a.k.a. the Camel City): Everyone knows the government is way too wussy to actually ban smoking, but that hasn't stopped first the states and now the federal government from trying to get their cut of the profits. This may finally be coming to an end:

A federal court yesterday rejected the government's attempt to recover $280 billion in past profits from the tobacco industry, wiping out the most powerful penalty that could have been imposed in the landmark racketeering case against cigarette manufacturers...

But by a vote of 2 to 1, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned an earlier decision by the judge presiding over the trial, who said she could order the companies to make such a payment, known as "disgorgement," if she found an industry pattern of past fraud.

Democracy and the Islamic Revolution: The people of Iraq have finally spoken, and it looks like what they've said is that they want a government more like Iran's than Turkey's. Or so it would seem based on returns so far:

Despite the absence of full results, some Shiite parties heralded a landslide. "According to the last report we got from the election commission, our blessed list got 57 percent," Jalaledin Saghir, who represents the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, told worshipers at the Baratha mosque in Baghdad. "I want to kiss the hands of the workers at the elections commission, who were completely honest."

Debt relief for African nations may be coming soon.

French workers don't mind going to the trouble of protesting if it means they can save the 35 hour work week.

Metropolitan bishop Panteleimon of Attica, Greece, was suspended for six months pending a church probe into alleged embezzlement of parish funds and "ethical" misconduct.

Global warming has some benefits, as the people of South Dakota learned yesterday when temperatures reached 70 degrees and higher -- warmer than Miami.

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