News In Brief

Back from Japan, President Clinton resumed his role as chief mediator at the two-week-old Mideast summit at Camp David, Md. The White House said he was meeting with his US advisory team, apparently to decide whether to continue with the talks, after holding separate sessions Sunday night with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. A senior Palestinian aide, meanwhile, denied Israeli news reports that near agreement had been reached on all the main issues except the status of Jerusalem.

The wife of Wen Ho Lee, the scientist accused of mishandling sensitive US nuclear secrets, worked for the Central Intelligence Agency - a revelation that could help defense lawyers working to exonerate him, the San Jose Mercury News reported Sunday. Citing unnamed congressional and intelligence sources, the newspaper said Sylvia Lee supplied information about Chinese scientists when she was a secretary at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the 1980s. She has not been charged with any crimes.

The number of people on parole or probation reached a record 4.5 million in 1999, The Washington Post reported, citing the Justice Department. It said the biggest increase was in probationers, reflecting a rise in drug arrests and a decline in the number of such offenders sent to prison. More than 1 million of the total count were in Texas and California; Georgia and Idaho had the largest percentages of their adult population under community supervision. Overall, blacks made up more than one-third of probationers and almost half of parolees.

An estimated 900 people packed into or listened outside a Philadelphia church as black clergy leaders said they could no longer refrain from more active protests against the police beating of a carjacking suspect July 12. The Rev. Al Sharpton, for example, suggested a march on the district attorney's office for not filing criminal charges against the officers involved in the incident. Earlier Sunday, several hundred people attended a counterrally at City Hall in support of the community's police.

A fire in Mesa Verde National Park, Colo., almost tripled in size in 24 hours, charring 17,000 acres by Sunday night. Although no major structural damage had been reported, the fire was only a few miles from ruins known as Cliff Palace, the park's major attraction. In a related development, reports said the blaze has uncovered at least a dozen previously unknown archaeological sites.

A tense standoff at an Orlando, Fla., house dragged on for a third day, with a gunman holding one woman and two children hostage. But Jamie Dean Petron, wanted for the recent murder of a store clerk and the wounding of a policeman, did release two children Sunday. Petron apparently had sought shelter at what seemed to be an easily penetrable home after he allegedly resisted arrest nearby.

Lance Armstrong of Austin, Texas, rides down the Champs Elysees in Paris after winning the Tour de France bicycle race for the second consecutive year. Across the English Channel Sunday, golfer Tiger Woods cruised to victory at the British Open. The American is the youngest person to win a golf career grand slam and only the fifth person overall to do so.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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