News In Brief

GRASS WASN'T IN THE PLAN

The idea was to brighten Chicago's O'Hare Airport by seeding wildflowers along its runways as part of a beautification program. They'd bloom in profusion, lending welcome natural color to the world's busiest transportation hub. Everyone would be pleased. One man even saw an opportunity to get a jump on the plan by doing a little seeding of his own. But police found his cultivated marijuana plants adjacent to the field, then the planter himself when he showed up to check on them.

AND NO USING INTERPRETERS!

As a new member of NATO, the Czech Republic sees an opportunity to downsize its Soviet-style armed forces. And, indeed, the chief of staff has just such a plan. But it's voluntary; those targeted can choose whether to go or stay. Lt. Gen. Jiri Sedivy has given his staff one year to learn English so they can participate in alliance meetings - or be fired. As it stands now, he says, all they report on returning from such trips is that "it was nice there."

Silicon Valley, Dallas top the list of US high-tech centers

After a survey of more than 300 metropolitan regions, the Milken Institute in Santa Monica, Calif., has released a ranking of the leading US high-technology centers. The study evaluates the density and output of 14 industries - from computers, electronics, and data processing to pharmaceuticals, communications, and aerospace. Perhaps the biggest surprise in the ranking is the No. 2 spot given Dallas as a result of its concentration of communications firms, among them GTE Corp. It is also the US headquarters for such foreign-owned telecommunications firms as Nortel, Ericsson, and Fujitsu. The study's top 10:

1. Silicon Valley (California)

2. Dallas

3. Los Angeles/Long Beach

4. Boston

5. Seattle

6. Washington

7. Albuquerque, N.M.

8. Chicago

9. New York

10. Atlanta

- Reuters

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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