News In Brief

Innocence in cyberspace

the internet's threat to community life developed a new wrinkle late last month when a Dell Computers survey of 1,000 Americans asked them what they would like to be able to do in cyberspace in the future. Fifty-three percent said they wanted to perform jury duty from home online. There was no word on how this could be done. Click once for innocent, twice for guilty?

IF YOU THINK THAT'S BAD...

Then there's the Internet-divorce service offered by the British company Desktop Lawyer. The Observer newspaper says the 80 ($126) service is touted as a cheap, quick way to obtain an uncontested divorce, compared with going through solicitors for about 400 ($631). First, customers visit a Web site to answer various questions online. Desktop Lawyer's program then drafts all the legal documents for them to download. Questions about a possible reconciliation are apparently not part of the package.

Maine is rated the best state in nation for rearing children

According to a study by the Children's Rights Council, the No. 1 state in the US for children is Maine. In fact, you can't go far wrong in the New England region; it contains five of the survey's Top 10 states. Ratings are based on such factors as child-abuse, high-school-dropout, child-poverty, and infant-mortality rates. The 10 states ranked lowest in the study were, in descending order: Idaho, Mississippi, Arkansas, Nevada, Oklahoma, California, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, and Louisiana. But Louisiana was not ranked last. That distinction fell to the District of Columbia. The 10 states at the top of the list:

1. Maine

2. Massachusetts

3. Connecticut

4. Vermont

5. New Hampshire

6. North Dakota

7. Maryland

8. Kansas

9. Wisconsin

10. Iowa

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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