July 27, 1998

All Things Considered
(entire program)
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An index of the day's stories:

GM UPDATE -- NPR's Don Gonyea reports that there is optimism in Flint, Michigan today. General Motors and United Auto Workers seem very close to reaching an agreement to end the seven-week-old work stoppage that has idled nearly 200,000 GM employees in North America. The key issue remaining appears to be the company's insistence that there not be future strikes at other GM plants. Two other United Auto Workers plants are considering strikes once this labor dispute is over. (3:30)

TELECOM MERGER -- NPR's Jim Zarroli reports telecom giants GTE and Bell Atlantic are discussing whether to join forces. A deal between the two would be worth more than 50-billion dollars. The new company would own a third of the nation's local phone lines and would operate in 40 states. If the talks do produce a deal, federal regulators are expected to carefully scrutinize it. (3:30)

SOCIAL SECURITY -- President Clinton today addressed a forum on Social Security in New Mexico as part of the administration's effort to pave the way for an overhaul of the retirement system. Clinton praised Republican Senator Pete Domenici, who broke with House Republicans in calling for a solution to Social Security's financial problems before the budget surplus is spent on reducing taxes. The administration's effort is one of many meant to educate Americans about the retirement program's difficulties and possible solutions, the most popular of which is the private investment of Social Security funds. (4:30)

BOSNIA WAR CRIMINALS -- NPR's Tom Gjelten reports the State Department is denying a newspaper report that the United States has abandoned plans to capture the two top Bosnian Serb leaders charged with war crimes. U.S. officials say the United States and other NATO governments have trained and prepared extensively to arrest Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serbs' war time political and military leaders. An arrest attempt has never been authorized because of the associated risks and logistical problems, but the State Department insists the option remains open. (4:00)

ASSASSINATING HITLER -- Linda talks to Michael Evans, defense editor for The Times newspaper in London, about recently declassified files that reveal a British plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler during 1944. Evans says that several plans to kill Hitler were evaluated, including various methods of poisoning, but that using a sniper to shoot him was found to be the most effective method. The plot was never carried out, however, because British intelligence decided that the German war machine would soon crumble under Hitler's mismanagement. (4:00)

BOATS IN MOATS -- Dan Collison files the first report on a ballot initiative fight this year in Missouri, over riverboat casinos and whether companies should be allowed to build them in manmade moats instead of launching them on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. These so-called ``boats on moats'' have been prohibited by the courts, so the industry has gathered enough signatures to bring the issue before the state's voters in November. The initiative battle is expected to be a test of strength between active pro-gambling interests and the powerful gaming industry. (12:30)

MOVIE MONEY HYPE -- With Saving Private Ryan raking in thirty million dollars this past weekend, Bob Mondello looks at our fascination with movies that set box office records. Mondello says studios hope that attaining the number one position will draw people to the theaters, and they'll even fudge the numbers, for example, by starting the "weekend" earlier, to put their movies on top. (6:00)

GEEZER CHIC -- Commentator Lenore Skenazy has noticed that in Hollywood, more and more young actors are dating older women, and she likes this trend. (1:45)

OFFICERS HONORED -- Members of the House and Senate today honored the two police officers killed on duty last week. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and others described the people who work on Capitol Hill as a family or a small town, and said that is how personally they mourn the men who were killed. Congress is finalizing plans to have the men's bodies lie tomorrow in the Rotunda, where presidents and military heroes have been honored in death. NPR's Brian Naylor reports. (4:00)

WESTON: THE CHARGES -- Robert talks with NPR's Chitra Ragavan about today's arraignment of Russell Eugene Weston Jr., on charges of murdering two Capitol police officers Friday afternoon. Weston could face the death penalty if found guilty, but federal prosecutors must weigh a variety of difficult options in deciding how to proceed with any prosecution of Weston, given his apparent history of paranoid schizophrenia. Weston remained in Washington, D.C. General Hospital today, listed in serious condition and unable to attend the court hearing. (3:00)

WESTON: WHAT WE KNOW -- NPR's Steve Inskeep looks at the life of Russell Eugene Weston Jr., the man accused of killing two Capitol police officers Friday afternoon. Weston's parents in Illinois and people who knew him in Montana, tell about a man apparently suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. (5:00)

PRESIDENTS AND GRAND JURIES -- Linda talks with John Jeffries, professor of law at the University of Virginia, about the legal precedent for a subpoena of the president by an independent counsel, why it's rare, whether it can be enforced, and what standing the president has before the grand jury. (5:00)

CLINTON AND STARR -- Senior news analyst Daniel Schorr considers the possible political fallout if President Clinton decides to fight the Independent Counsel's subpoena. Schorr says choosing the path of resistance would put Democrats on the defensive in November and force them to repudiate the President. (2:45)

MEXICO CRIME -- NPR's Phillip Davis reports from Mexico City on a surge in crime that has many Mexicans frightened. The murder rate is soaring, carjackings and bank robberies are on the rise, and kidnapping, once rare, is now an everyday occurrence. Part of the rise in crime is a result of the economic crash of 1994, but there are other factors as well. Mexican newspapers frequently carry stories about crimes in which the culprits were police officers. (6:30)

ALGERIAN FILMMAKERS -- Sarah Chayes reports that civil strife has nearly destroyed Algerian cinema. Actors and filmmakers have been targets of Islamic extremist violence over the last six years and curfews have kept people at home in the evenings. The government also liquidated the three national film agencies that produced most Algerian films. Nonetheless, a few independent films are still being shown in theaters. (6:00)

CARY CANCELLED -- NPR's Kathleen Schalch reports Teamsters President Ron Cary was expelled from the union today because of an illegal fundraising scheme in his race against James P. Hoffa in 1996. (2:30)

TAL FARLOW OBITUARY -- Jazz guitarist Tal Farlow died Saturday morning. He was 71 years old. Farlow was truly a legend, as much for his reclusiveness as for the lightening-fast playing that astounded audiences and other guitarists. Farlow made a name for himself with the Red Norvo Trio (which also included bassist Charles Mingus) in 1949, an innovative "chamber jazz" group. He was also an intense bebop guitarist, very much influenced by Charlie Parker, who led his own groups in the 1950's. He seemed to drop out of sight in 1958, preferring the quiet of the Jersey shore to a hectic life in the music business. Yet he continued to play and record, making a series of "comebacks" up to last year. NPR's Tom Cole has an appreciation. (5:00)

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