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Inner City Press Global Inner Cities Report - December 24, 2005

From the UN Budget, Transit Strike, to the USA Patriot Act,

2005 Ends with Extensions

            Late on December 23, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a $3.8 billion two-year budget for the organization, beating the end-of-year deadline. The budget is in effect an extension to require consideration of changes to the structure of the organization before June 2006, when the $980 million allocated for 2006 will run out.

            This “mind-focusing” function is similar to two other recent extensions: to that adopted in Washington by the House of Representatives, where earlier in the week the USA Patriot Act was extended for five weeks, and to the not-yet-disclosed understanding that on December 22 broke the impasse between the MTA and transit workers’ union.  This putting off until tomorrow (or next year) the problems of today is the current trend, as 2005 comes to a close.

            The denouements will unfold in 2006 in this order: on January 20 in state supreme court in Brooklyn there will be a hearing on the $3 million in fines imposed on the Transit Workers’ Union. In early February, the USA Patriot Act is slated again to expire.  And in or before June, the United Nations will run out of money. Then these decisions deferred in this pre-Christmas week will come due… or perhaps be extended again.

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