- By Judi Hasson
- May 29, 2000
Say what you will about British tabloids and their dash of sass. Her
Majesty's government is calling one paper The Mirror patriotic. On May
21, The Mirror turned over to the British defense ministry a laptop computer
stolen from a British naval intelligence officer in April. It contained
classified files regarding a joint U.S./ British fighter plane. According
to the paper, the laptop passed through "a number of hands" before it was
recovered. The paper quoted Labor Member of Parliament Stephen Hepburn as
saying, "Well done, The Mirror. Our national security could have been endangered."
Now, about those U.S. State Department laptops.
The Department of Health and Human Services is doing more these days
than administering federal health and welfare programs. President Clinton's
fiscal 2001 budget calls for $265 million for HHS to develop an antibioterrorist
initiative, maintain a stockpile of pharmaceutical drugs if mass treatment
is needed and increase research into the kind of potent chemicals that could
be released into a civilian population.
With ever-present threats of anthrax and other bioterrorist drugs, Clinton
issued an order on May 18 for federal agencies to expand and better coordinate
their efforts at protecting against biological warfare. He has yet to ask
for more money to fight cyberwarfare, an issue that has twice come to the
foreground with recent virus attacks as malicious as any anthrax release.
Nothing like holding a party and forgetting to invite the invitees.
That's what happened when Women in Technology threw a dinner on May 18 at
the Ritz Carlton at Tyson's Corner, Virginia. The business group sold out
its First Annual Leadership Award event. Sprint one of many high-tech
sponsors thought they had invited some journalists to the program and
trumpeted that fact to the group's members. On the day of the dinner, several
journalists got last-minute e-mails about the event. They then informed
party planners that they had never received an invitation and that it was
now too late even reporters need time to dress up.
What does a former State Department spokesman do with the rest of his
life? Why, register his domain name and start his own World Wide Web site,
of course. That's Jamie Rubin's plan. The site can be viewed at www.jamesprubin.com.
The former spokesman for Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is apparently
going global, too. In 10 languages besides English, the site says it is
under construction. Just what will be on the site is unknown at this time,
folks, so stay tuned!
Food, Farmers and Politics
When does food mix with politics? Always, especially as President Clinton
tried to push through the last trade issue of his presidency. There were
plenty of strange bedfellows over the issue of normalizing trade relations
with China. Republicans supported it. But members of the president's party
opposed it, as well as labor, environmental and human rights groups. But
no argument was more curious than the map on the Agriculture Department's
In a state-by-state review, economists with the Foreign Agricultural Service
analyzed what's at stake. Tariffs will fall on virtually every crop exported
to China, the economists said, including wine, red meat, ketchup and ice
Did this sway the swing members of Congress? Hard to say. But we hear
that Ben and Jerry are on their way to the Mainland, gearing up for a new