News In Brief

HER NUMBER WAS UP If Anna Angeli was late for work Wednesday, she had the perfect excuse. Subway officials pulled her aside in a station in London because she was identified as the billionth rider on the system in the past 12 months. Her reward: a pass for unlimited travel on the Tube until next April - and a $700 voucher for a getaway vacation so she can use someone else's transit facilities for a while. Ironically, this all happened a few hours before Tube workers began a strike over job security and safety concerns.

HE'S NOT RICH, OK?

When last we looked in on Gerhard Schroder, the German chancellor was using his wife's VW on weekends rather than riding in the government-provided limo - on which he must pay taxes. Now he's contemplating a similar move with his official residence. According to a spokesman, Schroder may leave the mansion in Berlin for a two-bedroom apartment. The $1,700-a-month levy on the state-owned home "is certainly a factor," the aide said.

Closing in on a record: the number of Americans in jail

California, Texas, and New York have the highest prison populations in the US - about 400,000 inmates combined. That represents almost one-quarter of the nation's inmates, statistics from a new Justice Department report show. The federal and state prison population, the report said, is rapidly approaching a record 2 million, partly because many states have been implementing tougher sentences for repeat offenders, violent crimes, and drug offenses. There also has been an increase in the number of parole violators returned to prison. States with the highest number of prisoners:

1. California 164,490

2. Texas 163,503

3. New York 71,691

4. Florida 71,233

5. Michigan 47,317

6. Ohio 46,838

7. Illinois 44,819

8. Georgia 43,526

9. Pennsylvania 36,617

10. Louisiana 34,734

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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