News In Brief

QUARTERMASTERS South Carolinians Dale Presley and Gary Horton have been flipping coins and hitting pay dirt. No, they're not gambling - they're turning new Pennsylvania quarters upside down. When normal quarters are turned over top to bottom, the reverse side is right side up. On seven quarters the two collectors found, the reverse side is upside down. It's not known how many of quarters are in circulation or how valuable they may be. Twenty upside-down 1989 dollar coins are now valued at about $2,000 each.

BORROWER BEWARE The international poverty-fighters at Oxfam handed out candy at the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) late last week, poking fun at the lender's role in debt relief for the world's poorest countries. Labeled "IMF - bitter economic medicine for the third world," their blue-and-white boxes of mints carried this warning: "Side effects include empty schools, increased poverty.... Most dangerous for school-age children."

Six states are in jeopardy of losing drug-treatment funds The US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has told six states and Washington, D.C., that they can expect 40 percent cuts in block grants for drug-treatment programs in fiscal 1999. A 1992 statute requires states to pass laws banning tobacco sales to minors, aggressively enforce them through random inspections, and meet annual goals for reducing such sales. In Missouri tobacco merchants were supposed to be found selling to minors less than 28 percent of the time last year, but they were actually caught selling to minors in 33 percent of the checks. Missouri stands to lose the most funds - five times more than Washington, D.C. All may appeal the ruling. The amount of funds in jeopardy for each state (in millions):

Missouri $9.6

Minnesota 8.4

Oregon 6.0

Iowa 5.0

Delaware 2.2

Wyoming 1.0

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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