News In Brief

Attorney General Janet Reno announced a criminal investigation into this week's hacker attacks on Internet sites, of which E-Trade and ZDNet were the latest apparent targets. Federal officials, who suspected a substantial number of computers were involved in launching the attacks, urged businesses to install protective software and to report any attacks promptly so tracing can get under way. Senate majority leader Trent Lott (R) of Mississippi said he was considering legislation on cyber-terrorism, and Judiciary Committee chairman Orrin Hatch (R) of Utah said he may hold hearings soon.

North Korea is still developing its long-range ballistic missile program despite a pledge not to test the missiles while engaging in talks with the US, a senior intelligence official said. Such tests likely are being conducted on the ground, the official said, adding that North Korea's willingness to sell missiles to other nations poses a major threat to the US. Meanwhile, the Pyong-yang government said it will continue its program unless the US drops its plan to build an antimissile defense system in Northeast Asia.

To fill a vacancy on the Federal Election Commission, President Clinton was to nominate Republican law Prof. Bradley Smith, who favors no limits on how much candidates for public office can raise and spend. He selection first was considered about a year ago but was delayed because of protests by campaign-reform groups and maneuvering between Clinton and congressional Republicans. The FEC is evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats.

Immigration authorities in Portland, Ore., may be driving away business from Japan by using a too-strict interpretation of the law, Washington Sen. Slade Gorton (R) said. His spoke after several Japanese technical workers brought to the US by local companies were turned back at the Portland airport. Those same workers were able to enter through different airports without a problem. But the Immigration and Naturalization Service said improper visas are mostly to blame.

Every airline that flies MD-80 series planes has been asked to inspect their tail mechanisms after safety investigators found damage to a screw that moved the horizontal stabilizer on an Alaskan Airlines plane that crashed near California. The inspection covers 2,000 aircraft, including MD-90s, DC-9s, and Boeing 717s. Reports will then be studied by the Federal Aviation Administration. Meanwhile, two recent collisions involving small planes near Chicago and Los Angeles led to new urging for improved air-traffic control for such aircraft, which usually take off and land in places without control towers.

Students with learning disabilities are attending college in record numbers, countering the notion that they can't advance beyond high school and calling into question the number of children being labeled with a handicap, the American Council on Education said. Among the 1.6 million full-time freshmen enrolled at 3,100 US colleges in 1998, 9.4 percent were labeled with some kind of disability, compared with less than 3 percent in 1978, the council said. Above, Natalie Phelps, a senior at Bates College in Maine who has a disability, studies with tutor Steve Gilpatrick.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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