WHAT'S NEW, Friday, 14 July 1989 Washington, DC
THE "EMERGENCY CHINESE IMMIGRATION RELIEF ACT OF 1989"
approved by a vote of 97-0 in the Senate this week. The bill
would allow PRC nationals who were in the United States on J-1
visas before 5 Jun 89 to apply for a change of status. Those who
apply would be granted employment authorization. In the meantime,
their departure from the US would be deferred until 5 Jun 92. The
House will take up the issue next week
(WN 7 Jul 89).
. NSF AND NASA WERE CUT BY THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE
(WN 30 Jun 89). The
total FY 90 figure for NSF is about
$2B, which is $150M below the request and only about 6% over FY
89--that is a doubling rate of nearer 12 years than 5. The figure
for research was about 8.3% above last year, while education was
increased a whopping 23%--which is $20M above the request. The
money came from the Antarctic Program, which was funded at about
half the level of the request, but DOD is expected to pick up the
slack. Although NASA got about $1B less than it requested, the
space station survived. There is still a long way to go in the
FY 90 appropriations process, but it's not too early to panic.
3. NSF WILL BUILD A NEW RADIO TELESCOPE AT THE GREEN BANK SITE
the 26-year-old, 300-ft telescope that unexpectedly collapsed
last November. Since the new $75M state-of-the-art telescope was
included in the FY 89 supplemental appropriation, it will have no
effect on other FY 89 or FY 90 NSF programs
(WN 2 Jun 89).
4. THE CORPSE OF COLD FUSION FINALLY STOPPED TWITCHING THIS WEEK
when the DOE Cold Fusion Panel drafted its interim report. It
took only four pages to establish that no persuasive evidence of
cold fusion exists and that new efforts to find cold fusion are
not justified. The panel carefully distinguished between reports
of cold fusion at very low levels, which might justify modest
support, and claims of cold fusion producing measurable excess
energy, for which no substantial expenditure is recommended.
5. THE THEFT OF U.S. PATENT MICROFILMS FROM UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES
across the nation appears to be a systematic effort to amass a
comprehensive 20-year collection of US patent literature. There
is virtually no overlap in the microfilm thefts reported by 11
universities, which now add up to a collective loss of more than
$200,000. New thefts are reported almost daily. The FBI is
investigating possible national security implications, but an FBI
spokesman said it is not their job to keep an eye on libraries.
That will come as welcome news to librarians who have protested
FBI attempts to violate the confidentiality of library records.
6. CONFIRMATION HEARINGS FOR D. ALLAN BROMLEY AS DIRECTOR OF OSTP
have been scheduled for Friday, 21 July 1989, at 9:30 a.m. by the
Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, chaired by
Ernest F. Hollings (D-SC)--six months after the inauguration.