News In Brief

Officials in littleton, colo., were trying to make sense of a rampage at Columbine High School, where two heavily armed teenagers - dressed in black trench coats and ski masks - killed at least 15 people, including themselves. At least 20 others were said to be critically injured. Homemade explosives - including pipe bombs and propane-fueled shrapnel devices - were found in and around the school. It was the worst in a string of school shootings that have rocked the US over the past few years.

Republicans may have to rethink plans for enormous tax cuts over the next decade, House majority leader Dick Armey (R) of Texas said. He was reacting to a general agreement among GOP lawmakers that they should provide much more for Kosovo-related military expenses than the $6.05 billion requested by President Clinton. Some House conservatives said the total should be $15 billion to $18 billion. Senate majority leader Trent Lott said a $15 billion measure would lack "any realistic chance" of being approved.

New Jersey officials formally acknowledged that some state troopers target minority motorists for stops along the state's turnpike. A report by Attorney General Peter Verniero called "racial profiling" a problem in the 2,700-strong police force. But officials said such tactics are not state policy and those guilty of them are a small group. Two troopers were indicted Monday on charges of tampering with patrol reports to conceal that they were pulling over black motorists. Ten others are being investigated.

A proposal that would require commercial Web sites to gain parental consent before collecting data from young computer users was approved by the Federal Trade Commission. It said Web sites could use a number of methods to collect parental consent, including e-mail with valid digital signatures. The Center for Media Education, a child-protection group, criticized the decision, saying e-mail is "not verifiable" and challenging Internet companies to come up with a better system.

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) said the first two US firms had signed an agreement to buy only fish caught from waters where they will be replenished. The London-based nonprofit group unveiled in New York a new seal of approval and the first independent global system to certify fisheries as managed to maintain and replenish fish stocks. Boston-based Legal Sea Foods and Shaw's Supermarkets, which has 127 stores in the six New England states, were the first to pledge to buy only fish with the MSC seal of approval.

Harvard University said it was taking over Radcliffe College and would turn it into an institute dedicated to the study of women, gender, and society. Under terms of an agreement to be formally signed later, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study will have a total endowment of $350 million and provide postgraduate study. The college, founded in 1894 to provide higher education for women, has never offered its own undergraduate classes.

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