News In Brief

The white house reacted cautiously to the latest political upheaval in Russia, saying it was ready to work with President Boris Yeltsin's new choice for prime minister. A spokesman said US officials most recently worked with new Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in resolving Russia's role in the NATO peacekeeping force.

The Energy Department began a medical review of workers at a Kentucky factory in response to allegations that thousands have been unwittingly exposed to plutonium and other radioactive metals. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said the study would cover medical histories at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion plant as far back as the 1950s. The Washington Post said the unusual thing about Paducah was that workers there didn't know they were handling plutonium - but thought they were dealing with uranium, which is less dangerous.

A speech by Vice President Al Gore was disrupted by protesters who saidthe front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination was callous to the needs of African AIDS victims. Some of the nine protesters from the group ACT-UP shouted obscenities, threw leaflets into the crowd, and dumped pills on the floor of the St. James Episcopal Church in Laconia, N.H. One of them, Joneil Adriano, said Gore backs trade policies that prevent South Africa from making low-cost generic AIDS drugs. Above, a Gore supporter tries to tug a whistle out of the mouth of one of the protesters.

Smaller class sizes help US students score slightly better in math, but have the opposite or no effect on math students in other nations, a new study indicated. The research was done by Suet-ling Pong, an associate professor of education and sociology at Pennsylvania State University. "Small is marginally better in the US, but we do not know why this differs from other countries," he said.

Cheryl Mills, the young lawyer whose spirited defense of President Clinton impressed senators during his impeachment trial, has declined an offer to become the first woman and first black to serve as the top lawyer in the White House, administration officials said. She reportedly informed Clinton of her decision Friday after considering his offer for much of the summer. She has agreed to remain in the White House as acting counsel until a successor is found for Charles Ruff, who is returning to private practice.

Day-trading firms were the object of sharp criticism in a report by state securities regulators. After a seven-month probe, the North American Securities Administrators Association said such firms often mislead their investor-customers with promises of quick riches, fail to supervise them, and make improper loans to keep them trading. The report said there are 62 US day-trading firms, catering to 4,000 to 5,000 traders, who ride tiny changes in the market to try to squeeze out profits by rapidly buying and selling shares.

US warplanes bombed Iraqi antiaircraft artillery sites in response to Iraqi fire in the northern no-fly zone, military officials said. Air Force F-15s and F-16s bombed air-defense sites north of the city of Mosul, 250 miles north of Baghdad. All the airplanes were said to have left the area safely.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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