News In Brief

At Cairo's request, US safety officials stopped short of turning the EgyptAir-crash probe over to the FBI. Egyptian experts asked for more time to analyze the last recorded words of the Flight 990 pilots. The New York Times said Egyptian officials had complained that American authorities were rushing into a decision that a crew member was responsible for the crash. Meanwhile, the focus of the investigation seemed to shift to the backup copilot, amid indications that he was at the controls just before the jetliner began its plunge into the ocean Oct 31.

An airline-maintenance firm and two of its employees went on trial in connection with the 1996 ValuJet Airline crash in the Florida Everglades that killed all 110 people aboard. The company, Sabretech, is accused of improperly packaging oxygen canisters blamed for triggering the crash.

New versions of $5 and $10 bills were unveiled in Washington. The bigger, slightly off-center portraits of President Lincoln on the $5 bill and Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill are similar to what was done to President Andrew Jackson's image on last year's new $20 bill. The two new bills, designed to make counterfeiting more difficult, will go into circulation in mid-2000.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson was released without bond after being arrested in Decatur, Ill. Jackson was handcuffed as he stepped onto the grounds of a high school to protest the expulsion of six black students for brawling at a football game. After the arrest, the Decatur school board voted against a Jackson proposal that called for the board to review the students' cases individually in December and consider readmitting them in January. The ruling appeared to set the stage for more protests and what could be a lengthy court battle.

President Clinton agreed to a 0.38 percent across-the-board cut in federal spending, House Speaker Dennis Hastert said. Differences over the proposal were one of the major remaining hurdles to completing a fiscal 2000 budget deal. Two weeks ago, the president vetoed a similar 1 percent cut, calling it mindless and excessive. But Republicans insisted on the need for such an across-the-board reduction to nail down conservative votes for the package.

The Federal Reserve pushed borrowing costs higher, raising a key short-term interest rate by a quarter of a point to 5.5 percent. It was the third rate increase this year.

California State Sen. Joe Baca (D) defeated Republican Elia Pirozzi in a special election to fill the 42nd district seat of US Rep. George Brown (D), who died earlier this year. Baca, who had been favored to win, had 51.7 percent of the vote to 43.6 percent for Pirozzi with all 202 precincts counted. The remainder was split between Libertarian and Reform Party candidates.

Striking teachers returned to work in Birmingham, Ala., after their school superintendent's $30,000 pay raise was rescinded. The teachers had gone on strike Monday to protest a school board decision to boost Superintendent Johnny Brown's salary to $181,000. The board voted 4 to 0 to reverse its decision.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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