News In Brief

The failure of a prototype "hit to kill" interceptor to destroy a dummy warhead can be traced to the breakdown of its heat-seeking devices, the Pentagon said in a preliminary assessment. The interceptor launched correctly and received an in-flight course correction as planned, but sensors that should have "seen" the target failed, causing it to miss the mock warhead at the last moment. Pentagon officials vowed to uncover more details on what went wrong in the $100 million test over the South Pacific.

Attorneys for the great-uncle of Elian Gonzalez filed a lawsuit in federal court in Miami to challenge an Immigration and Naturalization Service ruling that the boy should be returned to his father in Cuba. The legal team accused the INS of violating Elian's due-process rights and asked that the agency be prevented from returning the boy before it grants him an asylum hearing. But the INS rejected an asylum petition filed last week, and many legal experts say Elian's US relatives have no legal standing because their rights do not trump his father's.

Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) agreed to delay his executive order ending affirmative action in the admission of minorities to state universities until public hearings can be held on the issue. The move ended a sit-in by some Democratic legislators and an estimated 100 others in the Capitol.

Hundreds of dockworkers clashed with police in Charles-ton, S.C., over the unloading of a Danish cargo ship by non-union hands. At least six people were hurt; eight others were arrested. Members of the International Longshoremen's Association had marched to the port, where the freighter was being guarded by about 600 police in anticipation of a protest. The incident followed one earlier this month in which ILA members blocked the terminal gate.

South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges (D) said the Confederate battle flag should be removed from the state Capitol dome. The decision came two days after an estimated 50,000 people rallied on the statehouse lawn urging the legislature to bring down the flag. Hodges said he wants to move it to an unspecified "place of historical significance."

A lower-court ruling that prospective jurors cannot be disqualified because they don't speak English was upheld by New Mexico's Supreme Court. An attorney for the state said procedures now will be set up to accommodate non-English-speaking jurors.

At least 1 out of every 3 women has been beaten, raped, or mistreated in some way, a report by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Center for Gender Equity in Baltimore estimated. Its study, which looked at domestic-violence reports in more than 20 countries, urged that abuse against women be treated as a global health problem, not just a law-enforcement issue.

Former Netscape chief James Barksdale planned to give $100 million to help Mississippi children learn to read in one of the largest private donations ever made to a US college. It will fund a teaching institute at the University of Mississippi, his alma mater, and help seven other schools hire reading experts in a state with one of the lowest literacy rates.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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