News In Brief

By , Judy Nichols, and Joshua S. Burek

Two enraged teenagers took just 16 minutes to kill 12 students during last year's massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., a minute-by-minute account by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department concluded. The report also confirmed that some of the people who were wounded waited for hours until a SWAT team finished evacuating the school. Families of some of the victims criticized the account for not providing more explanation for authorities' response to the situation. The report, amounting to 700 pages and based on as many as 5,000 interviews, was ordered by a judge to help victims' families assemble information needed to pursue lawsuits.

The national price for unleaded gasoline jumped 7.2 cents during the past two weeks to $1.492 a gallon, above the peak $1.45 price forecast for the summer driving season, the government's Energy Information Administration reported. Before the increase, gasoline prices had declined for seven weeks straight. Crude-oil prices are now at their highest level since mid-March, despite additional oil supplies from OPEC.

Accused of enabling easy access for computer viruses, Microsoft Corp. announced it would alter its Outlook software to prevent users from running any "executable" program attachments, good or bad. The recent "Love bug" virus targeted users of Outlook, one of the most popular e-mail systems. Microsoft said it would make a software "patch" for Outlook 98 and Office 2000 available on the Web next week.

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In his 1999 financial disclosure form, President Clinton reported assets worth between $1.2 million and $5.7 million, the majority of which was in a blind trust valued at between $1 million and $5 million. But he indicated he owed between $1 million and $5 million each to two law firms that defended him during legal proceedings related to his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Vice President Al Gore, in his disclosure report, cited assets of between about $900,000 to $2.0 million - chiefly two homes - and liabilities ranging from about $300,000 to $600,000.

At a memorial on Capitol Hill for 139 law-enforcement officers killed in the line of duty last year, Clinton asked Congress to double the money it spends on bulletproof vests for local police. The program, signed into law in 1998 and due to expire next year, allows the Justice Department to pay for as much as half the costs of the protective wear. The government bought 92,500 vests under the program last year and has enough money budgeted to buy another 90,000 during the current fiscal year. Clinton's new proposal would boost the program's funding to $150 million for 2002 to 2004.

By a voice vote, the House approved the formation of a World Bank-run trust fund to combat the spread of AIDS in Africa. The bill authorizes US contributions of $100 million a year for five years to the fund, with the aim of leveraging that to procure as much as $1 billion a year from international donors. The bill now goes to the Senate.

With fire no longer a serious threat to most of Los Alamos, N.M., about three-quarters of the residents were allowed to return. Much of the reopened area sustained no more damage than dried-out lawns. But officials said the worst-hit neighborhoods and the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory remained closed indefinitely. Overall, the raging wildfire is reported to be 35 percent contained. Concerns have mounted that about 1,500 historical sites in the region have been damaged, an archaeologist for the Santa Fe National Forest said.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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