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?


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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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