Of Human Interest: News lite

By ELLEN BECK, United Press International  |  Oct. 4, 2002 at 4:30 AM
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The Chicago City Council has unanimously approved an ordinance requiring city contractors to check their records and disclose whether they profited from slavery.

"It will help demonstrate how much of the nation's wealth was created by the sweat and blood of slavery," said Mayor Richard M. Daley, who supports national dialogue on reparations. "It happened. Let's do something about it. We're paying everybody around the world. Why can't we pay our own citizens?"

Like the earlier reparations bill passed by the council, the Slavery Era Disclosure Ordinance was introduced by civil rights activist-turned-politician Dorothy Tillman, an alderman who has sponsored slave reparations conferences for the past two years.

Chicago is the first major city to require companies bidding for contracts to disclose past roles during slavery. Companies that file the required affidavits will be allowed to bid for city contracts firms that withhold information or lie would be barred from doing business with the city.


Rock for Life, affiliated with the American Life League, is taking the hard rock group KISS to task for delivering a safe-sex message to fans.

"How can anyone take it seriously when a band like KISS delivers a so-called safe sex message?" asks Bryan Kemper of Rock for Life. "Their influence is bad enough without adding condoms to the equation."

Born of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll culture of the 1970s, KISS is known for wild black hair, heavy black and white face makeup, skin tight outfits and one wickedly long tongue.

KISS offers the "Studded Paul" KISS KONDOM and the "Tongue Lubricated" KISS KONDOM -- bearing the band's logo and likeness. "Social responsibility is important to me, so if a KISS KONDOM encourages someone to use a condom to help prevent an unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease, I've helped," says lead vocalist Paul Stanley in a statement.

"How is selling condoms to kids socially responsible?" protests Kemper. "The condom is known to have high failure rates in stopping the spread of the HIV virus and other sexually transmitted diseases. If KISS really cared about social responsibility, they'd encourage children to abstain from sex until they are married."


The war on terrorism and a pending battle in Iraq aside, First lady Laura Bush has decided to hold the annual White House Fall Garden Tour. It's set for Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26-27.

The tours have been an annual tradition since 1972 when then first lady Pat Nixon first opened the gardens to the public. Visitors can see the Rose Garden, Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Children's Garden and the South Lawn of the White House.

The event is open to the public and the National Park Service will distribute free, timed tickets at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion, 15th and E Streets, on both days beginning at 7:30 a.m.


Sputnik, the world's first artificial satellite, weighed only 184 pounds and at about 23 inches wide was about the size of a beach ball. But 45 years ago Friday, on Oct. 4, 1957, it changed the course of history by ushering in the Space Age.

The satellite, whose name in Russian means traveler, was followed by fleets of satellites, robots to the planets, humans in orbit and eventually footsteps on the moon.

The tiny sphere blasted into low Earth orbit atop a Soviet ballistic missile as part of the International Geophysical Year, an effort of global scientific research that began in July 1957 and actually ran 18 months, to December 1958.

The fact that the first orbiting spacecraft was launched by the Soviet Union and not the United States stunned the world.

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