(Updated January 29, 2000)

Braves Pitcher Weighs in on Cuban Boy Controversy-- Macon, Georgia (SPI) Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker unexpectedly announced he would like to intervene in the international situation involving Elian Gonzalez.  Little Elian, the Cuban boy whose mother drowned in their attempt to flee Castro's Cuba, is currently living with relatives in Miami.
     "I think he's a helluva' little boy," Rocker said, upon returning from the Kwanzaa parade in Atlanta.  "I mean, he must've really wanted to be here real bad to risk coming here."  Rocker later added, "You gotta' admire the fact that he's, what does that statue in New York say, 'yearning to breathe free' or somethin'."
     Rocker's comments come on the heels of his charity work for the Red Ribbon Campaign and The Urban League, where he was named an honorary chairman for his rich record of embracing Atlanta's rich diversity.  As expected, the hurler down-played the honor, instead deciding to focus on the pressing situation in south Florida.
     "Accolades come and go, but what is important is that we nurture this boy, protect him from the dictatorial system that restricts personal freedoms and liberties.  Besides, we all know that them boys can really throw a ball.  I'd give a nut to see him in a Braves uniform some day."

Cyborg Candidate Crashes-- Concord, NH (SPI)  Presidential candidate and millionaire cyborg Steve Forbes was briefly incapacitated today by an awkward, uncontrolled situation.  The  Forbes camp refused to release information, but witnesses told of the drama.
    "It was terrible!" cried Martha Krisby, a data processor from Pimentville. "He kinda stumbled into a situation where he had to ad-lib, and his eyes started to swirl-- just like in the cartoons."
     The situation, caught on film, started when an unidentified Gore supporter, dressed in a "Gore 2000" shirt, sauntered up to the circuit laden Forbes.  Computer programmer Thomas Vitale could see it coming.
     "The processors in his control module ("brain") began to whir and click like a crashing hard drive.  Pretty soon, the polymers on his scalp began to sizzle-- I heard 'em... sounded like bacon at a pancake breakfast-- then he did something I'll never forget, no matter how much I try.  He attempted to smile." 
     As the programs began to fail, Forbes was seen convulsing irregularly, attempting to simulate human like laughter.  Staccato noises were heard from the voice simulation chamber underneath the command module, leading some to believe he was trying, in vain, to laugh.  At that moment, Forbes technicians swarmed the failing automaton and secured the area. 
     Cyborg experts disagree as to how long reloading the emotionless "Campaign Protocol" will take, but warn that the re-booted Forbes may have some difficulties at first.  Citing past experiences, Professor Cletus Nichols noted that other candidates have experienced similar setbacks.
     "Gore's problems were noticeable back in '88, but that was due to termites, a condition he was since learned to deal with.  But the Perot program was a more extreme case, fluctuating in its decision process wildly.  And the choice of Stockdale as a running mate proves theirs was an unreliable model cyborg, at best."
     As for what to expect from Forbes when he is back on line, Professor Nichols noted it will likely, "produce non-sensical gibberish, such as increased governmental compassion and help for the underprivileged, not to mention increase access to superior made foreign goods, except guns, of course, which he will initially fear and want to ban."

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A Spivey's World Exclusive: Appalachian Trail Trip":  Still here, after all these months....

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