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Archive for Thursday, February 27, 2003

Briefcase

February 27, 2003

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Nuclear attack not part of insurance policies

State Farm Insurance Co., the nation's largest auto insurer, is mailing notices to its 40 million policyholders informing them they are not covered against nuclear blasts and radiation damage.

State Farm joined a host of companies in excluding nuclear-related auto claims amid heightened fear over terrorism.

State Farm said nuclear blasts or radioactive damage were not normal road hazards and thus were not covered.

State Farm spokesman Joe Johnson said the company reviewed policies in the wake of heightened awareness over terrorism and realized there was no specific language in the policies regarding nuclear-related claims.

"Basically, a nuclear event is the type of situation that could threaten an insurance company's solvency," Johnson said.

Competition

FCC telephone ruling panned by lawmakers

Lawmakers on Wednesday criticized a divided Federal Communications Commission for a decision letting states decide whether to spur competition between the regional Bell phone companies and their rivals.

Behind the commission's 3-2 vote on Feb. 20 is a requirement that the regional Bell companies lease parts of their local networks to competitors such as AT&T Corp. and WorldCom Inc. at discount rates.

The policy was adopted seven years ago to encourage companies to compete in the Bells' markets while giving the Bells the chance to offer long-distance service in their regions.

Money

Future nickel design to keep familiar home

The House on Wednesday made sure that Thomas Jefferson's home won't permanently lose its place on the back of the nickel to his favorite adventurers, Lewis and Clark.

Under a bill that passed 412-5, the U.S. Mint was given the go-ahead to change the image on the back side of the nickel during the next three years to commemorate the bicentennial of the 1803 Louisiana Purchase and the 1804-06 Lewis and Clark expedition.

In 2006 Monticello, Jefferson's home, will return.

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