Intercontinental clans now exert as much political and economic influence as megacorps, and soon receive membership rights on the Protocol Security Board.

Major clans include : Heartlands (USA), Victoria (Anglo - UK, NZ, Au, Canada, East US), Latinate (Latino), South China Group (Chinese), Muslim Council (mainly Iranian), and Slavonika (Slavic-Orthodox).

Minor clans include: Zulu, Afrikaner, Francophonie, Korean, Japanese, Sikh, Australian, Undernet, Seventh International, Uhuru (American blacks), Jewish Diaspora.

The Mafia, Triad(s), Cosa Nuova, Pharma Cartel and Russian Kombinat control international organized crime.

President Haldeman's presidential-delegate George Aspen is elected. The Tea Party proclaims Aspen to be Haldeman's puppet. In retaliation, the God's Lightning militia (believed to be influenced by Haldeman) firebombs several Reform Party offices.

The new field of Selenics revolutionizes biochip design and nanostructure construction, creating self-modifying materials which can adapt to climatic/stress conditions. These new 'living alloys' are used to expand underwater and orbital stations.

American Apparatus completes the Registry, a universal databank storing all citizen data profiles. Those who refuse to join ("joining is your choice") are effectively excluded from the legitimate economy, and become 'blanks' (black spaces in the database) or fringers.

Orbital Dynamics (formerly Boeing, American Aeronautics, and Sao Paulo Aviation) completes Brightstar and other habitats while competing fiercely with Eurospace.

'Monterrey Miracle' finally raises the north of Mexico to American living standards. The south still suffers from chronic uprisings and nasty infestations of war-parasites.

<<<< >>>>