For Sunday, November 4, 2012
POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Nov 04, 2012
Smithsonian museums, zoo reopen
WASHINGTON » The Smithsonian Institution's museums and National Zoo have reopened in Washington after shutting their doors for two days because of superstorm Sandy.
Wednesday's reopening came as welcome news to tourists visiting the capital who found few businesses open as the storm passed through.
Smithsonian officials say all the museums and their facilities in Maryland and Virginia are in good condition. There was no damage to the collections. Some buildings did have leaks during the storm, but maintenance staff was on hand to place sandbags in some areas to keep the buildings mostly dry inside.
At the National Zoo, officials say the animals weathered the storm with no problem.
The Smithsonian says its National Museum of the American Indian in New York remains closed, but its collection is safe.
Dutch snuff out ‘weed pass' plan
AMSTERDAM » The incoming Dutch government has ditched plans for a national "weed pass" that would have been available only to residents and that would have effectively banned tourists from Amsterdam's marijuana cafes.
However, under a provisional governing pact unveiled last week, cities can bar foreigners from weed shops if they choose.
The pact says that it wants only Dutch residents to have access to marijuana cafes but leaves enforcement up to cities. Amsterdam opposes a ban, which would hurt tourism.
Some cafe owners said Tuesday that they are satisfied Dutch weed policy will not change.
Marijuana trafficking is technically illegal in the Netherlands, but people can't be prosecuted for possession of small amounts and the drug is sold openly in designated "coffee shops."