News In Brief


Aides to new Illinois Gov. George Ryan (R), upset at the inside information finding its way into the news because of unauthorized leaks, issued a memo to spokesmen for state agencies. It said, in part: "If you have an irepressible urge to leak, call ... and we'll talk about it. But if you're told to keep quiet, keep quiet." The memo was, of course, leaked.


In Jonesboro, Ark., two men watched in disbelief from the police station lobby as a friend rammed it with his vehicle and sped away. It was apparently an attempt to free the two, who'd been arrested as suspects in a shoplifting case. But what the driver didn't know was that they were minutes from walking out anyway because the paperwork on their bail bonds was almost finished. Now he, too, could use a little help with the law - since he was quickly caught.

Race still behind more than half of nation's hate crimes

Of 8,049 hate crimes reported to the FBI in 1997, racial prejudice was the motivating factor in 4,710 of them, the bureau reported last week. It used data from 11,211 law-enforcement agencies in 48 states and the District of Columbia. There were several hundred more hate crimes in 1996 than 1997, but there also were more agencies reporting in the earlier year. The most common motives for such crimes in 1997 and the number of each type reported, plus the most frequent hate crimes and the percentage that each contributed to the total:

Motives for hate crimes

1. Racial prejudice 4,710

2. Religious prejudice 1,385

3. Sexual-orientation prejudice 1,102

4. Ethnic or national-origin prejudice 836

5. Disability prejudice 12

6. Multiple prejudices 4

Most frequent hate crimes

1. Intimidation 39%

2. Vandalism 26

3. Simple assault 18

4. Aggravated assault 13

- Associated Press

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