News In Brief

With the clock counting down the final hours of campaign 2000, the presidential candidates made a series of "last stops" in tossup states that could decide today's election. Al Gore launched a 30-hour-straight swing through Iowa, Missouri, Michigan, and Florida. George W. Bush, promising "a sprint to the finish," planned stops in Tennessee, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Arkansas. (Stories, pages 1, 2, 11; editorial, page 8; opinions, page 9.)

The Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal by several major publishers in regard to a key case about copyright protections in the Internet age. An earlier ruling in the case held that if publishers didn't obtain the permission of freelance contributors to include their work in electronic databases, the companies would have to pay extra or the material would have to be removed. The publishers have argued that the electronic databases do not fall under federal copyright protection.

Twelve people protesting the Navy's use of the Puerto Rican Island of Vieques for bombing exercises were arrested after one of them climbed out on the Statue of Liberty's crown and attached flags reading "Peace for Vieques." The man was charged with unlawful demonstration, criminal mischief, and reckless endangerment. President Clinton already has pledged that the Navy will leave Vieques by May 2003 if residents vote in a referendum to expel it.

A hostage situation involving about 40 people at a discount store in the Los Angeles suburb of Culver City, Calif., ended peacefully with police and SWAT teams on the scene. The incident began before dawn yesterday, when as many as five people invaded the store and ordered employees to the floor in an apparent botched robbery attempt. By the conclusion of the incident 2-1/2 hours later, four suspects were arrested, although one later was released.

Light rain kept fires along North Carolina's mountains from spreading much beyond the already charred 10,000 acres of national forest and private property. But separate blazes continued to burn in Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and Tennessee. Though considered large for the region, the fires are considerably smaller than the ones in the West this past summer.

Jimmie Davis, who died Sunday at his home in Baton Rouge, La., is perhaps best remembered for his song "You Are My Sunshine." The centenarian also served two terms as Louisiana governor and acted in B-grade cowboy movies. Davis was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1972.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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