BY HARRY RING
Spring house cleaning - During the war in Yugoslavia, U.S. drug companies donated some 34,000 tons of medicines, of which half were unusable. Some had unreadable labels, and the shelf life of others had expired. (Some of the stuff dated back to World War II.) Dumping medical waste in the USA costs $2,000 a ton. Plus, notes the New England Journal of Medicine, they probably got tax deductions for their "donations."
Petty larceny doesn't pay - In Vermont, shoplifting more than $100 worth is a felony, with a sentence of up to 10 years. A misdemeanor sentence is at most six months.
In Rutland, a woman was busted for lifting about $100 worth. The defense pointed out that several of the items were on sale that day, bringing the total to $97.37. The cops responded that to get the discount you have to show a store courtesy card at the checkout, which the defendant didn't.
They're so clever - It was disclosed that in 1995 the Clinton White House asked the CIA for confidential information about several U.S. citizens. A National Security Council staffer explained that while it's illegal, in most cases, for the CIA to spy on citizens, it's not illegal for the White House to ask it for such info.
Sounds reasonable - Sociology professor Michael Radelet led a massive study, going back to the turn of the century, which found 416 cases in which the death penalty was wrongly imposed. Declared Radelet: "We have no idea how much of the iceberg we've uncovered, but I'm pretty confident we've just skimmed the surface."
What else is new? - For years, British insurance companies have been expected to pay for National Health Service treatment of road accident victims, but hospitals rarely collect. Pending legislation is intended to correct this. The insurance companies response? They'll have to jack up car insurance premiums.
..meanwhile - To pay the cost of maintaining police cameras that assertively nab speeders, 10 (about $15) will be added to speeding fines.
Thought for the week -"Puerto Ricans on a per capita basis
have shed more blood and sustained more casualties than any
one of the 50 United States." - Marine Corps Gen. Charles
Wilhelm, chief of the new headquarters of the Pentagon's
Southern Command, recently relocated from the Panama Canal
Zone to Puerto Rico.
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