October 9, 1998

All Things Considered
(entire program)
Requires the RealAudio Player

An index of the day's stories:

What's Left on the Hill? -- All Things Considered host Robert Siegel talks with NPR's Peter Kenyon about all the work Congress has to get done before members can go home to campaign for reelection. Congress has lots of spending bills to finish to keep the government operating. A temporary measure authorizing the government to spend money expires at midnight. The House and Senate are also working on policy issues regarding bankruptcy, the financial services industry, and the International Monetary Fund. (4:30)

Religious Persecution Bill -- NPR's Barbara Bradley reports on last minute congressional efforts to push through legislation calling for the State Department to conduct annual studies on religious persecution around the world. the legislation originally called for imposing sanctions on countries where individuals were deprived religious freedom, but business groups argued that such penalties would only serve to hurt American companies. (4:00)

Ariel Sharon Appointed Israeli Foreign Minister -- NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports from Jerusalem that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has appointed hard-liner Ariel Sharon as his foreign minister. The move comes less than a week before Netanyahu travels to Washington for a crucial peace summit with PLO leader Yasser Arafat and President Clinton. Sharon is a determined foe of the Oslo peace accord; he still refers to Arafat as a "terrorist," and has vowed never to shake the PLO leader's hand. Many Palestinians consider Sharon a war criminal for orchestrating the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, but PLO officials said today they would work with the former general. (3:30)

Hugh Finn Dies -- NPR's Steve Inskeep reports from Washington on the death today of Hugh Finn. In the past two weeks, the former television newscaster became the center of a right-to-die controversy in Virginia. Finn suffered brian injuries in an auto accident more than three years ago that left him in a persistent vegetative state. After his wife decided recently to have Finn's feeding tube removed, state officials attempted to intervene with a series of legal efforts. (2:30)

Soldiers Become Teachers -- Schools around the nation have been faced with a shortage of qualified teachers. Now, a Department of Defense agency has developed a program that is training former members of the military as teachers. The participants in the program are mostly retirees or military personnel who have lost their jobs in the massive military downsizing that's occurred in the last few years. At least 3000 veterans are now teaching in 48 states. Bill Zeeble of member station KERA reports on how the teachers and the program are working in Texas -- which is the state the more of these teachers than any other. (5:30)

Hillary Rodham Clinton's Fudraising Efforts -- There's a Clinton on the campaign trail who is not the subject of massive demonstrations, or angry calls to resign, or who is shunned by fellow Democrats. As a matter of fact, this Clinton is wildly popular among the party faithful. Hillary Rodham Clinton is bringing them to their feet at rallies, and, as NPR's Peter Overby reports, getting them to open their checkbooks as well. (5:30)

Washington State Senate Race -- Republicans claim they are getting closer to the magic 60 seats needed to control the legislative agenda in the Senate. As Democrats try to stop the GOP juggernaut, one place where they may prevail is in Washington State. NPR's Elizabeth Arnold reports. (7:00)

Gerber Urban Legend -- New York Attorney General Dennis Vacco issued a consumer alert this week - warning of a scam over a fake baby food legal settlement. But postal officials say it's not a scam at all - just a rumor passed by word of mouth, by e-mail and faxes from well-meaning people. The story is actually posted on the "Urban Legends" Web site. Susan Arbetter of member station WAMC reports. (3:15)

The Experts Speak -- All Things Considered host Noah Adams talks with Christopher Cerf and Victor Navasky, the co-authors of "The Experts Speak: The Definitive Compendium of Authoritative Misinformation." They talk about some experts' predictions that turned out to be catastrophically wrong -- particularly about the stock market, sports, and the relative appeal of some books. (Note: "The Experts Speak" is published by Villard Books.) (4:30)

Clinton and Schroeder Meet -- NPR's Tom Gjelten reports on President Clinton's meeting today with Gerhard Schroeder, Germany's newly elected leader. Schroeder told Clinton Germany will back a NATO decision to authorize air strikes against Serbian forces in Yugoslavia. This step almost clears the way for a NATO "activation order," giving the NATO commander authority to call in air strikes at a moment of his choosing. (3:30)

Mood in Belgrade -- NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports from Belgrade on the grim mood that now grips the Yugoslav capital in anticipation of NATO air strikes. U-S troubleshooter Richard Holbrooke is meeting again today with President Slobodan Milosevic to reach a diplomatic solution to the Kosovo crisis. But with agreement in sight, residents of Belgrade are becoming panic-stricken. (4:30)

Italy's Government Falls -- Reporter David Willey reports from Rome on the collapse of the government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi. Italy's latest government crisis will affect NATO'S plans to launch air strikes against Yugoslavia from Italian air bases, as well as the launch of Europe's common currency, the Euro. (3:30)

Friday Sports Talk -- Robert talks with Stefan Fatsis, sportswriter with the Wall Street Journal and a regular contributor to All Things Considered, about the labor strife in the National Basketball Association. A management lockout of players, pending negotiation of a new contract, has already led to the cancellation of all pre-season games and now is threatening the regular season. Management says players' salaries are out of control and must be reined in. Players want no limit placed on the salaries the best paid players can receive. Stefan also talks about the success of the San Diego Padres, who lead the Atlanta Braves 2 games to none in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series. (5:00)

Missing Pigeon Update -- Noah talks with Rick Phalen, Executive Director of the American Racing Pigeon Union. After thousands of homing pigeons failed to find their way home following three different races in the past week, Mr. Phalen and his staff have noted an increase in the number of people calling to report sightings of lost pigeons. Using its database and the databases of other pigeon racing organizations, the ARPU can find the owners of lost pigeons by reading the serial numbers stamped on bands that pigeons wear on their legs, but the ARPU has yet to match any lost pigeons with their owners. (Note: Listeners who find lost racing pigeons may call the American Racing Pigeon Union directly at 405-478-2240. The ARPU's database of pigeon owners can be found on the web at www.pigeon.org.) (3:00)

Gas Pump Scam -- NPR's Andy Bowers authorities in Los Angeles have uncovered a sophisticated scheme to defraud motorists at the gas pump. The computer chip in the pump made the customer think that more gas was being pumped than actually was pumped. Even the inspectors were fooled. (3:30)

Technology Stocks -- NPR's Chris Arnold reports that after a dramatic week of declines, U.S. stock markets rallied today. The Dow Industrials were up about 2% on the day, while the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite shot up by more than 4%. Even with today's increase though, the Nasdaq market is down nearly 30% from its peak in July. Analysts blamed concern about the impact of a slowing economy on corporate earnings. (4:00)

Selling Stocks Short -- Noah talks with Daryl Hersch, the president of Securities and Investment Planning Company in Chatham, New Jersey, about the practice of "selling short" in the stock market. When an investor sees a stock that she thinks is going to go down in price, she can borrow shares of the stock from a brokerage firm, sell the shares, and when the price drops, buys the shares back, pocketing the profit. Hersch talks about the risks entailed in this kind of stock purchase, and why people might want to do it. (5:30)

Playwright Evan Smith -- Evan Smith's friends and colleagues thought he had it made in 1986 when, at the age of 17, he had a play produced at New York's Young Playwrights' Festival. He hasn't had anything produced since then. That's the way he planned it. Instead of trying to crank out play after play, he's taken a very deliberate path -- going to school; working on his writing, biding his time. "The Uneasy Chair" premieres at the prestigious Playwrights Horizons Theatre off-Broadway this week. Ellen Bikales has a profile of a young writer determined to stick with the stage when most of his peers are writing for TV and film. (7:30)

Some stories do not link to audio files because of Internet rights issues.