News In Brief

Police discovered stolen weapons and contraband at the home of a six-year-old boy who allegedly shot and killed a first-grade classmate in a Michigan school. The boy used a stolen handgun that he apparently found loaded and lying in a bedroom, a county prosecutor said. The boy and girl had argued at Buell Elementary School, near Flint, the day before the shooting, classmates said. While he is too young to be charged with a crime, his mother could be charged with negligence, and whoever provided the gun could face manslaughter charges.

Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain of Arizona turned their focus to "Super Tuesday" next week after Bush won a three-state parlay to recapture the lead in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. Bush outdistanced McCain 53 to 44 percent in Virginia, captured the North Dakota caucuses by a landslide, and won the Washington State primary by a 20 percent margin.

Vice President Al Gore won by a 2 to 1 margin in Washington State's nonbinding Democratic presidential primary, denying a boost to his rival, Bill Bradley, who had invested heavily in the state. Bradley's spokesman refuted speculation the candidate would quit before Super Tuesday.

A federal court in Phoenix ruled Democrats may vote online in their party's March 11 presidential primary in Arizona, clearing the way for what's believed to be the first legally binding election using the Internet. Plans call for 823,000 registered Democrats to be able to vote around the clock from their homes or workplaces during the four days preceding the election. Traditional polling places will be open on primary day.

Responding to thousands of consumer complaints, the Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission planned to release a new policy on advertising for long-distance phone services. All costs that may be incurred by callers, even those using so-called dial-around services with "10-10" numbers, should be disclosed, including minimum charges per call and monthly fees, the policy states. The FCC also was to announce a $100,000 fine against MCI WorldCom Inc. for what regulators deem misleading and incomplete advertisements, The Washington Post reported.

A federal appeals court reinstated one of the US's costliest desegregation cases, throwing the future of the Kansas City school district into question. The 8th US Circuit Court of Appeals also removed District Judge Dean Whipple from the case, saying he erred when he dismissed it because he didn't allow parties to present evidence. The ruling may keep the district under federal control for several more years.

Spending on construction projects around the country shot up 2.7 percent in January, the biggest increase since June 1998, the Commerce Department reported. The surge translated into a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $751.8 billion, an all-time-high monthly level. In the category of government construction projects, there was an 11.5 percent jump in spending on highways and a 6.25 percent rise in expenditures for schools.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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