News In Brief

Hillary Rodham Clinton's public opposition to clemency for imprisoned members of a Puerto Rican terrorist group embroiled her in more deeply in controversy that involves the president and politicial leaders in as well as outside New York State where she is expected to run for the US Senate. Hispanics sharply criticized the first lady for saying she doesn't believe the prisoners, members of an organization suspected of carrying out a series of bombings in the US in the 1970s and '80s, have shown the necessary contrition. Nationally, Mrs. Clinton's position also drew the fire of Republicans, who called her position political maneuvering.

Rich Americans are benefiting far more than the poor from the booming economy, which has seen the gap between the two widen significantly, a new study found. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said its figures, adjusted for inflation, show that after-tax income of the richest 20 percent of Americans, who make an average of $102,300 a year, climbed 115 percent since 1977. The poorest 20 percent, making $8,800, experienced a 9 percent decrease in income over the span.

A fugitive Connecticut-based money manager was arrested and arraigned in Germany over the weekend, ending a four-month manhunt. Martin Frankel is accused of embezzling millions of dollars from US insurance companies. The FBI tracked him to a luxury hotel in Hamburg.

Improving education is the top priority for Americans in voting for the next president, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll. Of those surveyed, 79 percent put public education the top of their lists, above handling the economy and managing the federal budget. Last in a list of 15 issues with respondents was campaign reform.

The second Million Youth March went off without incident over the weekend, despite contentiousness between New York City officials and organizers in the weeks leading up to the event. An estimated 2,000 people gathered on the streets of Harlem to hear speakers encourage black youths to stay in school and treat each other with respect. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani thanked New Yorkers for the low turnout at the rally, which last year produced a bottle-throwing melee and this time was monitored by 1,500 police officers.

The US space agency, NASA, will not undertake a mission again until mid-October, at the earliest, an announcement said. NASA said its first priority is to "troubleshoot" the wiring of space shuttles. Inspectors went to work after a harrowing liftoff of Columbia in July, when the flight came perilously close to a first emergency abort.

A federal probe into gift-giving by Olympic host cities Atlanta and Salt Lake City has found the former's practices even more generous than previously thought, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The newspaper said congressional investigators have turned up documents showing a number of expensive gifts not included in the report of the 1996 Olympic organizers.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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