News In Brief

At least "several thousand" Kosovo refugees will be brought to the US, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said. She told NBC's "Meet the Press" that the US would accept refugees as part of an effort to share with European Union countries the burden of some 350,000 Kosovars who have fled to neighboring Albania and Macedonia. Meanwhile, the Pentagon said it was starting an airlift of supplies to the refugees.

A new opinion poll showed a hardening of support for NATO airstrikes - and for sending ground troops into Kosovo. In a Newsweek survey, 58 percent of respondents said they approved US participation in the bombing - up from 53 percent a week ago. Support for sending US ground forces into Kosovo climbed to 54 percent from 47 percent.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt and its battle group were ordered to the Adriatic Sea, instead of the Persian Gulf. The aircraft carrier entered the western Mediterranean Saturday and is expected in the Adriatic today. It will add 75 aircraft to allied forces in the region. Accompanying the aircraft carrier are three ships and one attack submarine, armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles.

The Commerce Department will pursue steel-industry complaints against six countries accused of illegally pricing cut-to-length steel plates. The US International Trade Commission found evidence that imports from France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, and South Korea had hurt domestic producers. The independent fact-finding agency dropped cases against the Czech Republic and Macedonia, finding their shipments of the plates to be negligible.

Arraignment was to take place today for the computer programmer arrested on charges of creating the Melissa virus that forced some companies to shut down their e-mail systems. If convicted, David Smith of Aberdeen, N.J., could face a fine and imprisonment, authorities said. He was released on $100,000 bail.

A tornado tore through Benton, La., flattening homes and killing at least nine people. At least 100 others were reportedly injured - five of them seriously.

A military jury recommended that a Marine Corps navigator be dismissed from the service for destroying a videotape shot aboard a flight that sheared lift cables at an Italian ski resort, killing 20 people. Capt. Joseph Schweitzer could have spent up to 10 years in prison on charges of conspiracy and obstructing justice.

A surprise snowstorm stranded a large group of Mexicans trying to cross the US border near Alpine, Calif., leaving at least nine dead. A search with dogs and helicopters rescued more than 130 others on the US side of the border; Mexican authorities found two dead and 80 people stranded south of the border. More than 140 illegal immigrants reportedly died last year while trying to cross from Mexico into California's San Diego and Imperial counties.

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