THE UNITED NATIONS
'DONATES' $700,000 TO A POOR WOMAN
The money was accidentally paid into the wrong account
|Susan Madicall used to play international lotteries from her humble Brooklyn home dreaming that one dayfrom her humble Brooklyn home dreaming that one day her bank account would be full of money from other countries. When she actually started to receive money from foreign sources* she believed that her initial investment of $100 had worked and that she had won several prizes from different countries including France, Italy, Uruguay and the Fiji Islands. Naturally very happy with her change in fortune, she moved to a better flat and started her own business, a launderette* called 'Smile Laundromat'. However, all this money had not come from foreign lotteries. Her bank, the Bank of New York, had confused her account with that of the United Nations and the money was in fact coming from U.N. member nations paying their contributions to the organisation. As the two accounts had numbers that only varied by one number, nobody had noticed the error until it was too late. The United Nations is now asking for its money back but Madicall doesn't want to give back what she has already spent. The U.N.||could always ask for control of the luanderette but it would then have to explain to its member states that instead of paying for peace keeping missions and aid* programmes they have been buying a little shop in New York. As Fred Eckhard, spokesperson for the U.N., explained, "the countries that were donating the money had a specific purpose in mind and it wasn 't that of buying a launderette iri Brooklyn." It has been suggested that the U.N. should recuperate what is left of the money and let Madicall keep her business but the U.N's opinion is not so generous. "Although that would be a nice thing to do as this woman is from a modest social background, we are talking about money from several countries. Some of them such as the Fiji Islands are not very opulent and have made great sacrifices in protecting the environment. " At present the only action that has been taken against the lucky 'lottery winner' has been the freezing of her bank account. The case will be decided by a New York court.|
IS THE MILLENNIUM DOME DOOMED?The Dome in Greenwich needs more visitors and morepublic money
The Dome was finished on time, something not that normal in public projects, and the giant fen-is wheel* known as 'London's Eye' was ready to be inaugurated, but not everything went as planned on the last night of the Millennium.
The V.I.Ps who were invited to the spectacular opening extravaganza on New Year's Eve 1999 had to queue outside the Dome for two hours before entering to find out that the hot buffet was by then cold and that those who had entered first had drunk all the champagne. Earlier in the day the
'Eye' was inaugurated by Prime Minister Tony Blair but when he pressed the
button nothing happened.
And it seems the problems will continue to effect these two emblematic constructions for some time to come. The 'Eye' still hasn't moved because its technical and security problems haven't yet been solved and now the directors of the Dome are asking for more public money to keep the enormous big top* open. In its first month open to the public four times less people have visited the attraction than was predicted. After spending 20,000 million pesetas on designing and building the 'Millennium Experience', the government needs two million tourists a year to visit the Dome and at this rate it will be lucky to receive a million.
What's the problem? Nobody really knows. Under the gigantic tent there are seven individual attractions that take the
|visitor around the end of millennium experience. The body, work,
speech, learning and faith are some of the themes, and in the centre of all
this there is a music, dance and acrobatics show. Everyone who visits the Dome
agrees that it is a great day out, so why aren't there enough people going?
Many say that it is too soon to tell. January is not the best month to visit
the capital of the U.K. unless you are a fan of grey skies and drizzle.
Optimists insist that as the year goes by a combination of word of mouth and
better weather will increase attendances. Pessimists, including newspaper
editors who had to wait those two hours at the inauguration, are starting to
ask questions about the wisdom* of spending so much public money on something
that will be dismantled in a few years time.
If you visit London, help the British government, visit the Dome!
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