News In Brief

The first comprehensive nationwide study of voting patterns and error rates in the 2000 presidential election showed that votes cast in congressional districts with low incomes and high percentages of minorities were far more likely to be discarded, the Washington Post reported. The study, prepared by minority staff members of the House Government Reform Committee, showed that 4 percent of all presidential ballots cast in low-income districts were not tallied, compared with 1.2 percent in higher-income districts. The new report concludes that modern voting machines can help to close that gap.

Thunderstorms dumped nearly eight inches of rain on Mullens, W.Va., Sunday as the southern and central part of the state continued to deal with weather-related challenges. The region, hit by a month of repeated rains that began in mid-May, was already trying to recover when the latest storm hit.

The mental competency of ex-Ku Klux Klansman Bobby Frank Cherry to stand trial in Birmingham, Ala., was to be determined by Circuit Judge James Garrett in a hearing yesterday. Cherry, who has received conflicting assessments of his mental state, was indicted last year on charges that he and fellow ex-Klansman Thomas Blanton Jr. helped plant a bomb that killed four black girls outside a church. Blanton was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Cherry's trial has been postponed.

The five astronauts assigned to deliver a $164 million airlock to the International Space Station have arrived in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Their mission on board the shuttle Atlantis, delayed a month, is set to launch Thursday morning.

The parents of Chandra Levy said they plan to ask US Rep. Gary Condit (D) of Calif., to take a polygraph test, even though investigators, who gained his acknowledgment of an affair with the their daughter, an FBI intern, have not identified him as a suspect in her disappearance April 30.

After vacationing in Maine, President Bush travels to New York today to posthumously honor the Cardinal John O'Connor with the Congressional Gold Medal. The support of Roman Catholics is considered important to his eventual re-election hopes. Another group the president has tried to woo is black Americans, but his presidency was harshly criticized for its "extreme agenda" during the NAACP convention in New Orleans by board chairman Julian Bond. Congress is also getting back to work after a recess and plans to address campaign-finance reform and patients-rights legislation.

Baseball's origins may be older than previously thought, based on two 1823 newspaper accounts. The stories were discovered by New York University librarian George Thompson Jr., and describe a game called "base ball" being played in Manhattan. The game's birth has most often been traced to 1839 or 1846. or 1846.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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