News In Brief

Hurricane Floyd has taken a turn to the north, the National Hurricane Center said. As a result, the eye of storm was not expected to reach Florida - but to pass within 90 miles of its southern coast yesterday and perhaps within 50 miles of its northern coast this morning. Nonetheless, with reports of hurricane-force winds extending 125 miles from Floyd's center - and tropical-storm winds as far as 290 miles - authorities urged nearly 2 million people to evacuate coastal areas from Florida to North Carolina. Georgia was under a hurricane watch from Brunswick to Savannah - and forecasters said that likely would be extended into South Carolina overnight. Meanwhile, the storm pounded the central Bahamas with winds up to 155 m.p.h.

At the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., officials hoped for the best as they left four rockets worth $628 million apiece exposed on launch pads because there was no time to move them. Three shuttles that cost $2 billion each were left in hangars designed to withstand winds up to 105 m.p.h.

Clinton lawyer David Kendall said he would appeal the overturning of a ruling that the independent counsel's office be prosecuted for allegedly leaking grand-jury information illegally to the news media. On a 3-to-0 vote, the appeals court in Washington reversed a decision by District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson, who had directed the Justice Department to act as prosecutor for civil - and possibly criminal - contempt proceedings against Kenneth Starr's office for allegedly leaking a story to The New York Times. The article, Jan. 31, said Starr had decided he had the authority to seek an indictment against the president while Clinton was still in the White House.

Federal judges in Newark, N.J., dismissed class-action lawsuits against Ford Motor Co., Degussa AG, and Siemens AG stemming from the use of slave labor during World War II. The ruling in the Degussa and Siemens case said it raised political questions that should not be resolved by a judge. The dismissals were seen as strengthening the negotiating position of 14 German companies. Earlier this year, they said they would create a compensation fund, but thus far leaders of Jewish groups say the firms have been unwilling to commit to specific amounts. The separate suit against Ford also included its German subsidiary.

The Miss America Pageant has new rules that will allow women who are divorced or have had abortions to compete, officials of the Atlantic City, N.J., event said. The board of directors of the 70-year-old pageant adopted the rules last month to avert possible prosecution under a New Jersey human-rights statute, the officials added.

Several hundred family members, friends, and colleagues gathered in Boston last week to celebrate the life of former Monitor Editor Earl W. Foell, whose journalism career spanned 50 years. Mr. Foell was a mentor to many current and former staff members. "What Earl taught us about journalism that 'blesses all mankind' lives on, as does our love for him," said Monitor Editor David Cook. The Earl W. Foell Fund for Responsible Journalism has been established in care of the Monitor (One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115). The fund will be devoted to helping train young foreign correspondents.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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