Today's Headlines

US News

Governors Question Medicaid Changes
Yesterday, the Bush administration tried to enlist the nation's governors to support the campaign to redefine Medicaid, but the governors refused to support the changes unless the president is more clear about the "fine print" of the changes. The proposed program gives much of the control over the Medicaid program to individual states. The Medicaid program provides health care to 41 million low-income Americans.

Rhode Island Fire Investigation Continues
The investigation into the nightclub fire in Rhode Island that killed 97 people last week continues, with scrutiny intensifying on the club's owners. Rhode Island's attorney general Patrick Lynch said in a press conference yesterday that the brothers who owned the club were "not forthcoming" in cooperation with the investigation, and a grand jury to investigate the cause will be empaneled on Wednesday. Members of the band Great White, who were performing at the club when the fire began and lost guitarist Ty Longley in the blaze, have already been subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury.

Manhattan Tries To Get Grip On Homeless
In an attempt to gauge the homeless problem in the New York City borough of Manhattan, the city's Department of Homeless Services sent out more than a thousand volunteers in the middle of the night last night to count the homeless. The city was divided into pieces measuring about 2% of a square mile, and each volunteer was assigned to a section. Future plans include expanding the effort to the other New York City boroughs and doing the count annually.

International News

US, Great Britain, Spain Introduce New Iraq Resolution
The United States, Britain and Spain introduced a new draft of a Security Council resolution today declaring that Iraq has squandered its "final opportunity" to voluntarily disarm. The draft lays the legal and political groundwork for a US-led military invasion of Iraq. US and British officials describe the introduction of the draft resolution as the beginning of the final push to win Security Council backing for a decision to go to war. French president Jacques Chirac and German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder are leading the opposition to this measure.

One Dead, Nine Injured in Attacks on Beijing Universities
Explosions caused by homemade dynamite tore through cafeterias at Peking and Tsinghua universities in Beijing, China within hours of each other this morning. There is no known motive or claim of responsibility for the attacks. Liu Wei, spokesman for the Public Security Bureau, said, "Initial police investigations show the two explosions were caused by homemade black powder dynamite," then declined to comment further.

North Korea Tests Missile On Eve Of South Korean Succession
On the eve of the inauguration of South Korea's president Roh Moo Hyun, North Korea launched a short range missile into the Sea of Japan as a none-too-subtle reminder of the ongoing tensions between the nation and the West. The US State Department played down the issue, stating that the missile was part of a routine training exercise, but many question the timing of the missile launch.


Home Depot Beats Earnings Estimates
During their fiscal fourth quarter, ending February 2, Home Depot reported a profit of $686 million, or $0.30 a share, which beat the Wall Street consensus estimate of $0.27 a share. The company also reported a record annual profit of $3.7 billion, amounting to $1.56 per share. Analysts call this positive news, especially in light of the weak holiday season that just passed.

Ahold Faces Corporate Accounting Scandal
Dutch food producer Ahold admitted yesterday to vastly overstating earnings in the last two years, and announced the resignation of the CEO and COO of the company and a number of suspensions. Investigations are focusing on where exactly income had been booked prematurely in the Ahold organization. Ahold stocks plunged 63% in Amsterdam upon the news.

AOL Time Warner's Book Division Up For Grabs
Random House and HarperCollins both offered preliminary bids to purchase AOL Time Warner's troubled book division, the company revealed yesterday. The company is hoping to raise $400 million for the arm, which includes Warner Books and the literary Little, Brown imprint. Thus far, the Random House bid seems to be a better fit, according to AOL Time Warner representatives.

Science & Technology

Microsoft Offers Program To Ease XP Deployment
In an attempt to increase the installed base for their Windows XP operating system, Microsoft is unveiling today a new website with revamped tools which the company hopes will help IT workers make the switch. The new site, found at includes tools to discover whether or not current applications will function under Windows XP Professional. The goal of the program is to demonstrate the strong compatibility of Windows XP with older applications.

NASA Solves 50 Year Old Moon Mystery
Early in the morning of November 15, 1953, an amateur astronomer, Dr. Leon Stuart, captured a photograph of a large plume of white vaporized rock rising from the moon's surface. Stuart's theory was in question for fifty years until yesterday, when NASA scientists demonstrated evidence for the crater resulting from the explosion, which was caused by a tiny asteroid impacting the moon's surface.

Another Microsoft Outlook Virus Spreads
The latest in a series of Outlook-based viruses has circulated Asia and Europe on Monday, but is being slowed as US companies update their virus protection software. The Lovegate.C virus sends an email to two Beijing email addresses, as well as copying itself to all entries in a person's address book when activated. The same advice applies here as before; don't activate email attachments unless you're sure of their origin and have updated antivirus packages.


Firm Pushes For Approval on AIDS Vaccine For Minorities
VaxGen, a company that made an experimental AIDS vaccine that was only effective in treating AIDS in minorities, is continuing to push for government approval of the vaccine. VaxGen chief executive Lance Gordon said, "If we announced to the world that we were abandoning the project because the study failed in whites, we'd be crucified."

Childhood Asthma On Rise
The EPA reported yesterday that there has been a significant increase in childhood asthma over the past two decades, and that one in every twelve women of childbearing age have blood mercury levels that could hinder fetus development. The EPA blames the increase in asthma on reduced air quality for the youth of America, due to a more indoor-based lifestyle than the previous generation.


Yzerman Returns To Lead Red Wings To Victory
Steve Yzerman made his season debut for the Detroit Red Wings last night as the team defeated the Los Angeles Kings 5-4. The longtime Red Wings leader had been out for the season due to surgery on his right knee, missing the first 61 games. Yzerman did not figure into any of the team's goals.

America's Cup on Alert After Terror Threats
A letter containing cyanide and threatening a terrorist attack on the America's Cup yachting finals in Auckland if there is war in Iraq was discovered by New Zealand police. The packages, containing white powder, were sent to the Australian high commission, the British high commission, the US embassy, and the New Zealand Herald newspaper.


Grammy Ratings Up Sharply
24.9 million viewers tuned into the Grammy awards Sunday night to watch Norah Jones sweep the awards. Last year, the show had under 19 million viewers. CBS attributed the ratings bump to a switch to Sunday evening, as well as additional attention due to possible anti-war protests and strong performances from Simon and Garfunkel, Bruce Springsteen, and Eminem, among others.

Dan Rather To Interview Saddam Hussein
CBS's Dan Rather has scored an exclusive interview with Iraq president Saddam Hussein. The interview, taped Monday in Baghdad, will air the interview on 60 Minutes II this Wednesday evening. According to CBS, during the interview, Saddam challenges US president George W. Bush to a live international television and radio debate about the looming war, envisioning it as being along the lines of a US presidential debate.

And Now, Some Typical Daylog Fare

Well, Saddam Hussein has challenged George W. Bush to an internationally televised debate about the looming war, leading to another publicity win-win situation for Saddam in the Arab world. If Bush doesn't accept, then Bush looks like he's declining fair debate on the issue and is slapping the Arab world in the face. If Bush accepts, that means to the Arab world that Iraq and the United States are on the same level as world powers. If Bush were smart, he'd offer a debate between Saddam and a high-level eloquent speaker from the Bush administration. Colin Powell, anyone? I'd pay top money to see that one.

But what if the Bush-Hussein debate actually did happen? I think it would be beneficial for the entire world if it did.

The United States is a nation like any other nation in the world. We have laws within our own borders that are our own business, not the business of others. However, the same respect should be accorded to all other nations in the world.

Apparently, George W. Bush doesn't have this level of respect for other nations. Thus, I think a debate on a world stage with Bush standing before the people of earth would be appropriate. To simply watch the connection being made in George W. Bush's mind as he attempts to answer one simple question would make it clear to the people of the world, and hopefully to Bush as well, how important such a "mind your own business" tenet really is.

The question?

How would you react if the United Nations ordered you to not fly airplanes in half of your nation's airspace under threat of being shot down and imposed enough trade embargoes to strangle your nation's economy because you were suspected of having "weapons of mass destruction"?

See, the United States does have weapons of mass destruction. A great number of them. And, by his actions, the answer to the above question doesn't matter to George W. Bush. Not at all.

And to address the handful of e2ites who have been trying to cajole me into ridiculous statements...
I refuse to stoop to calling George W. Bush a Zionist crusader.
Bush is simply doing what he (or at least his advisors) think is the right thing to do. However, it is a serious problem if he is doing this against not only the wishes of his own country, but the wishes of the world community as well, and that seems to be the case.