News In Brief

Increasing pressure on Europe to unite behind a single candidate of its own, top officials at the International Monetary Fund took the unprecedented step of proposing non-Europeans to succeed Michel Cam-dessus as the organization's next chief. Nominee Stanley Fischer, a naturalized American who was born in what is now Zambia, has been acting director of the Washington-based lending agency since Feb. 14 and is credited with being its main firefighter in various financial crises in the 1990s. The other candidate, Eisuke Sakakibara, has served in Japan's Finance Ministry and is known as "Mr. Yen" because of his influence on the Japanese currency.

A group of black Secret Service agents is asking the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to let them file a class-action lawsuit that alleges they were denied promotions and key assignments because of racial discrimination. If the EEOC gives the go-ahead, they could pursue their job-related grievances on behalf of all black agents in federal court.

Speaking in a Florida senior-citizens community, Vice President Al Gore proposed a $35 billion plan to help the elderly buy prescription drugs. Gore said under his new initiative, "Medi-coverage," no senior would have to spend more than $4,000 a year out of pocket for medication. His rival, Bill Bradley, called the plan a copy of one he proposed last year. In an economic address at Columbia University in New York, he advanced what he called an Earnings Insurance Program to supplement - through annual payments of up to $10,000 for three years - the income of workers who lose jobs because of future trade agreements.

The general population at California's maximum-security Pelican Bay State Prison was locked down after guards resorted to gunfire to stop what officials called a race riot. One inmate was killed; 12 others were wounded. Officials said the riot - the most violent in the prison's history - involved 200 inmates, mostly blacks and Hispanics.

Encouraged by the Los Angeles police chief, federal authorities said they'll launch their own probe into the city's widening police-corruption scandal that, so far, has resulted in 20 suspensions. Six new FBI agents will start work with police and prosecutors.

A computer-science student was accused of a "coast-to-coast" hacking spree of military and government networks that prosecutors said gave him control of a NASA system. Ikenna Iffih of Northeastern University in Boston used his home computer to deface a Web page, copy personal information, cause business loss, and seize control of computers, prosecutors said. But they said there was no disruption to national security and no improper use of private data.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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