Please note, I’m making a slight change in the format for the news stories I link to in, starting with this pst.

Latest News of Note:

  • AP: Anti-Taliban Forces Besiege Kunduz
      One paragraph that I found positive in the story was: Efforts continued to arrange power-sharing talks for a post-Taliban government next week in Bonn, Germany. Afghanistan’s exiled former monarch will send two women and six others reflecting the country’s varied ethnic makeup, the king’s grandson said.

  • Boston Globe: New Federal Patriot Act Turns Retailers into Spies against Customers
      Nov. 18–Ordinary businesses, from bicycle shops to bookstores to bowling alleys, are being pressed into service on the home front in the war on terrorism.

      Under the USA Patriot Act, signed into law by President Bush late last month, they soon will be required to monitor their customers and report “suspicious transactions” to the Treasury Department — though most businesses may not be aware of this.

      Buried in the more than 300 pages of the new law is a provision that “any person engaged in a trade or business” has to file a government report if a customer spends $10,000 or more in cash. The threshold is cumulative and applies to multiple purchases if they’re somehow related — three $4,000 pieces of furniture, for example, might trigger a filing.

      Until now, only banks, thrifts, and credit unions have been required to report cash transactions to the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, under the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970. A handful of other businesses, including car dealers and pawnbrokers, have to file similar reports with the Internal Revenue Service.

      “This is a big deal, and a big change, for the vast majority of American businesses,” said Joe Rubin, chief lobbyist for the US Chamber of Commerce. “But I don’t think anybody realizes it’s happened.”

  • NY Times: Spain Sets Hurdle for Extradictions
      Spain will not extradite the eight men it has charged with complicity in the Sept. 11 attacks unless the United States agrees that they would be tried by a civilian court and not by the military tribunals envisioned by President Bush, Spanish officials said today.

  • NY Times: Pakistanis Again Said to Evacuate Allies of Taliban
  • NY Times: Woohoo Nebraska loses to Colorado and is out of National Title contention, and UT whooped up on A&M! – OK, I rewrote the headline. (BTW, if you’re wondering my football loyalties are divided between OU & UT. Now I’ve made everybody mad.)
  • NY Times: With Ban Loosened, Some Small Aircraft Return to Manhattan Skies
  • Facing Decreased Demand for Coins, Mint Starts Layoffs