News In Brief

In a study commissioned by the White House, the National Academy of Sciences found global warming "is real and particularly strong within the past 20 years" and that a leading cause is emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels. The 24-page report also said that by 2100, temperatures could increase between 2.5 and 10.4 degrees F. above those of 1990. The report predicted warming would be greater over higher latitudes and said rates of heavy precipitation would increase. In meetings with European leaders next week, President Bush will outline mostly voluntary steps countries can take to curb emissions.

Attorneys for Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh filed a new appeal with a federal court after a lower court judge refused to grant a stay of his execution, scheduled for Monday. Depending on the ruling, McVeigh or government attorneys could appeal to the Supreme Court, which tends to be unsympathetic to 11th-hour pleas. The execution was delayed last month after the FBI admitted failing to disclose 4,500 pages of documents to the defense. McVeigh's attorney, Robert Nigh (above. l.), wants the execution postponed pending a review of the documents to determine whether they suggest that others were involved in the bombing.

New claims for unemployment insurance shot up to the highest level since September 1992 last week, as Americans struggled to keep jobs in the sagging economy. The Labor Department reported the number of Americans filing new applications for benefits rose by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 432,000 in the week ending June 2. The four-week moving average also rose to 413,500, the highest since October 1992.

A jury in Los Angeles ordered tobacco giant Philip Morris to pay more than $3 billion to a lifelong smoker who became terminally ill and argued the company failed to warn him about the health risks. The judgment was the largest against a cigarettemaker in a lawsuit brought by an individual. The Superior Court jury found against Philip Morris on on all six claims of fraud, negligence, and making a defective product. Philip Morris plans to appeal.

Bush said he's prepared to open security talks with North Korea, holding out the prospect of improved relations if the Communist government in Pyongyang shows a willingness to curb missile development and exports. The talks would be the first with North Korea since the last months of the Clinton administration, which failed to reach an agreement. South Korean officials welcomed Bush's decision.

Bush signed into law a 10-year, $1.35 trillion tax cut bill that will benefit all US taxpayers. An estimated 96 million rebate checks of between $300 and $600 will be mailed to taxpayers beginning July 20, the administration said. Much of the law's relief occurs over the next decade, including across-the-board reductions in marginal rates.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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