Marketplace PM for February 10, 2005
Northern Ireland's ceasefire watchdog agency has announced that a $50 million December bank robbery was carried out by Irish Republican Army guerrillas. Marketplace's Stephen Beard reports that some critics see the robbery as an indication that the IRA's normal channels of financing have dried up.
Broadcasters may have to pay $500,000 the next time they air material considered to be indecent. A House committee approved raising the fines for indecent broadcasts yesterday and the new laws would also institute a "three-strikes" rule. Marketplace's Bob Moon reports that means the FCC would be required to look into revoking the license of TV or radio stations that are fined three times.
The price of oil is down from record highs in November, but scarcity always remains an issue. Now, countries like India and China are teaming up to lock down new oil markets for themselves. Marketplace's Miranda Kennedy reports.
The President was in North Carolina and Pennsylvania today. He's been stumping like a candidate to win support for his changes to Social Security and cuts in the budget. In Detroit, Mr. Bush said it's time to eliminate the programs that don't deliver on their promises. Commentator and tax expert Len Burman likes this 'good government test'. So he wonders why hundreds of programs are getting a pass.
Today representatives from airlines, employee unions, and passengers groups held a news conference. They were protesting a White House proposal to hike security taxes on airline tickets. Under the plan, ticket fees would be boosted by 3 bucks to help raise an extra 1.5 billion dollars for the Department of Homeland Security. This week one Senator accused the President of trying to balance the budget on the backs of travelers. Marketplace's Cash Peters doesn't take this very seriously. To be honest, he seldom takes *anything* seriously.