News In Brief

By , Samar Farah, and Judy Nichols

A secret tunnel under the Soviet Embassy in Washington was the most expensive clandestine operation leaked by FBI agent Robert Hanssen, arrested last month on charges of spying for Moscow, The New York Times reported. Citing intelligence and law-enforcement officials, the Times said the tunnel, never previously disclosed, was part of a broader effort to eavesdrop on Moscow's facilities and personnel in the US. FBI agents infiltrated the Embassy under the guise of contractors, according to the report.

Military officials were recovering the remains of 21 National Guard personnel who died when a C-23 aircraft en route from Florida to Virginia crashed and exploded near Macon, Ga. Flight data recorders were recovered from the wreckage. Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board, meanwhile, sought a cause for the crash, which took place in heavy rain Saturday morning. The passengers included 18 members of a Virginia-based Air National Guard engineering unit and three Army personnel.

A rare court of inquiry was to convene in Pearl Harbor, launching the Navy's investigation of the collision between the USS Greeneville submarine and the Ehime Maru, a Japanese fishing boat. At the center of the inquiry: Cmdr. Scott Waddle and two other officers of the submarine, which officials say was in the Pacific Ocean solely for a private tour for 16 civilians. The Coast Guard has called off the search for nine missing people from the trawler who are presumed dead.

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Millions of users were still waiting for Napster to make good on its promise to deploy technology to weed out 1 million titles from its online song-swapping site as the Monitor went to press. Napster agreed to block access to certain artists, among them Metallica, after a federal hearing Friday. A final ruling on how Napster must alter its services to appease the record industry is pending.

Several massive columns supporting the dome of Washington State's Capitol, one of the world's largest, shifted during last week's earthquake, the worst in more than 50 years, officials said. Lawmakers are expected to work in nearby buildings during renovation of the Capitol, which supposedly was "earthquake-proofed" in 1965 and again in 1972. Officials said there is no danger that the columns would fall away or that the dome would collapse.

The NAACP, the nation's largest civil rights group, honored ex-President Bill Clinton at its 32nd Image Awards ceremony. Clinton, who enjoyed unprecedented popularity with black voters, received the President's Award for improving the lives of blacks during his eight-year tenure. The awards honor entertainers and other public figures for positive portrayals of blacks.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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