News In Brief

In the last few weeks of the presidential race, news coverage has been sharply negative, especially in the case of the Gore campaign, a new study concluded. The Project for Excellence in Journalism, along with Princeton Survey Research Associates for the Committee of Concerned Journalists, found that coverage of Texas Gov. George W. Bush was twice as likely to be positive and issue-oriented. Stories about Gore, meanwhile, tended to be more heavily critical despite the fact that his campaign was on an upswing during the study period.

Construction spending jumped 2.4 percent in September, the biggest gain in 10 months, the Commerce Department reported. The increase was more than four times what economists predicted and could add to debate over how much the economy is slowing. Strong activity in home remodeling, office buildings, and government projects contributed to the gain.

Napster, the online music-sharing service, and Bertelsmann, the parent company of recording label BMG, announced a deal that will create a membership-based distribution system guaranteeing payments to artists. In doing so, Bertelsmann breaks ranks with other members of the music industry, which are suing Napster for copyright infringement and have sought to have the service shut down. But key logistical details have yet to be worked out, and analysts said it's questionable whether other music labels will follow Bertelsmann's lead.

A New Jersey judge dropped all charges against two state troopers in connection with the gunshot wounds of three unarmed black and Hispanic men during a traffic stop. The 1998 incident made racial profiling a national issue. The decision surprised prosecutors and angered civil rights leaders, who've seen the case as a test of the state's determination to fight discrimination by its police.

Singapore Airlines listed 24 Americans as dead or unaccounted for as a result of the fiery crash of a Boeing 747 in Taiwan Tuesday. In all, 79 of the 179 people aboard were declared killed in the accident, which occurred in bad weather after takeoff for Los Angeles. The National Transportation Safety Board said it was sending an eight-member team to help Taiwan investigators look into the crash.

Veteran entertainer and writer Steve Allen, who died Monday night in Los Angeles, is best remembered as inventor of the late-night TV talk show. The original host of "The Tonight Show" also wrote more than 50 published books and thousands of songs, recorded dozens of albums, acted on Broadway, and starred in movies.

CORRECTION: An item in this space Monday, Oct. 30, about the Women Against Violence Act incorrectly described a statistic. It should have stated that an estimated 900,000 American women are victims of domestic violence annually.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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