By LANCE GAY
Scripps Howard News Service
April 15, 2006
Pollster John Zogby said that in a survey he conducted after the protests, 61 percent said they were less sympathetic to the plight of illegal immigrants as a result of the demonstrations, compared to 32 percent who said they were more sympathetic.
A Gallup poll this month also showed that more than half of Americas are skeptical about the effectiveness of a "wall" that some members of Congress want to construct along America's southern border. What might work to curb illegal immigration, according to 84 percent of those asked, is forcing employers to ensure that they give jobs only to those with proper documentation.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agrees with citizens groups, and is banning rocker and toggle switches used to operate power windows in cars. At least 50 children are strangled in automobile power windows each year in the United States, according to Kids and Cars, the group that led the effort to have the switches banned. Under a new rule published this month, NHTSA says safer pull-up or pull-out switches already standard in Europe and Japan will be required in future cars with power windows.
Janette Fennell, founder of Kids and Cars, said the switches are only a partial victory, and that the group is still pushing for window sensors that work like sensors on garage doors to stop or reverse blocked power windows.
GIs returning from Iraq can bring souvenirs like Saddam Hussein's money and Iraqi uniforms, but shell casings retrieved from the battlefield are a definite no-no. The Army says that permitting soldiers to bring back casings would encourage troops to scour battlefields to find them, and so put them in danger of going into unsecured areas.
"Let's roll" - spoken by United Flight 93 passenger Todd Beamer - became the rallying cry after the 9/11 attacks, commemorating the valor of passengers as they fought to regain control of the doomed aircraft. But sharp-eyed sorts have noted that the transcript released in the Zacarias Moussaoui trial doesn't indicate anyone saying those words, but, instead, "Roll it." "Roll it" was spoken in English, but it isn't clear if the speaker was a passenger or one of the hijackers.
Looking for something unusual for Mom on Mother's Day May 14?
You might consider a burro.
The Bureau of Land Management says that, "to honor America's mothers," it is putting more than 100 wild horses and burros up for adoption May 13-14 at its Ewing, Ill., holding center. There's a $125 adoption fee, and you can either give Mom the burro, or the free burro doll the federal agency is awarding every adopter at the event.
"This is the chance to get your mom that special wild horse or burro she has always wanted," the BLM says.
Despite the promises made in the 1998 tobacco settlement, most of the $240 billion that states received hasn't been spent on tobacco-cessation programs. The Government Accountability Office said that a third of the money states got last year was spent on health programs, and a quarter on paying off government debt. Maryland, for one, spent $30 million of its money in legal fees to sue tobacco companies that weren't part of the 1998 settlement.
Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., says it's time for the Smithsonian to consider charging a modest $1 fee for each visitor to raise money to pay for some $51 million in museum repairs currently billed taxpayers. The Smithsonian hasn't charged an entrance fee in its 160-year history, and some museums were funded with gifts specifying that they could never charge such fees. . . Also, Smithsonian officials plan to close the National Museum of American History for nearly two years, beginning Sept. 5, for renovation.
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