THE US Commerce Department on Wednesday announced an emergency action to close portions of US waters off George's Bank and southern New England to virtually all commercial fishing. The action, requested by the New England Fishery Management Council, takes effect Monday. It will close an area of roughly 6,000 square miles through March 12. The action may be extended after that date. Officials said the action was taken to save groundfish species such as cod, haddock, and yellowtail flounder from extinction. Michigan bans assisted suicide
THE Michigan Senate, seeking to prevent Dr. Jack Kevorkian from assisting any more suicides, approved a permanent ban against the practice Wednesday by a wide margin. The ban passed by a vote of 26 to 9. An earlier ban expired last month when a state commission on death and dying failed to reach a consensus on the controversial topic.