News In Brief

The "don't ask, don't tell" approach to homosexuals in the military isn't working, President Clinton said - and he pledged to work with the Pentagon to find a way to fix the policy, which took effect in February 1994. In a radio interview with CBS News, Clinton said he meant to create a policy that would help gay service members remain on duty without being persecuted. But he said the policy's flaws were revealed in the case of a young soldier in Fort Campbell, Ky., convicted of beating to death a fellow soldier whom he suspected was gay.

The US Civil Rights Commission said it would examine so-called zero-tolerance policies in an effort to determine whether some school districts disproportionately discipline minority or disabled students. The agency was responding to a request from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the civil-rights activist arrested last month while demonstrating on behalf of six black students expelled from high school for fighting at a football game in Decatur, Ill.

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist Wen Ho Lee was arrested and charged with gathering defense secrets with the intent "to secure an advantage to a foreign nation." Lee has been under suspicion of being a spy for China for several years. Seven of 10 high-volume tapes that Lee allegedly filled with nuclear computer codes are still missing, federal prosecutors said.

Julia Hill marked the end of her second year of living in a giant old-growth redwood in northern California, telling reporters her talks with Pacific Lumber Co. were going well and she hopes to climb down soon. Hill has been living on a bed-size platform 180 feet from the ground near Stafford, Calif., to protest logging of giant redwoods and protect the tree she inhabits, which she calls "Luna."

Americans traveling or living abroad should take extra security precautions from now through the first week in January, the State Department warned. It said intelligence officials had obtained "credible information" that terrorists are planning attacks "specifically targeting American citizens." The attacks could be planned for locations ... where large gatherings and celebrations will be taking place," the advisory noted.

Technology that is increasing the nation's economic productivity is also helping it become more energy efficient, a report from the nonprofit Center for Energy and Climate Solutions said. The amount of energy required to produce a dollar of gross domestic product fell by more than 3 percent in 1997 and 1998, after declining by less than 1 percent a year in the previous 10 years, said principal author Joseph Romm, a former assistant secretary in the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. The report highlights changes in the US economy produced by the Internet.

New York City agreed to abide by a temporary restraining order that stops evictions of homeless people from city shelters for refusing work assignments. The city's eviction plan also calls for putting homeless children in foster care if their parents are removed from shelters for declining work. After two state Supreme Court judges temporarily blocked the proposed policy from going into effect, pending a Jan. 14 hearing, the city threatened to appeal but then decided against it.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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