News In Brief

Protesters estimated at more than 2,000 took to New York's streets to denounce the acquittal of four white police officers in the shooting death of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed African immigrant. Authorities said about 90 demonstrators were arrested, although little violence was reported. In Washington, Justice Department officials were reviewing the case for a possible federal civil rights trial, much like the Rodney King case in Los Angeles. And attorneys for Diallo's family have said they will file a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the city, charging he was a victim of illegal racial profiling. In addition, the officers likely may face disciplinary action by their police department.

A Cuban diplomat who wanted to remain in the US until he was proved innocent of spying allegations was taken from his suburban Maryland apartment by FBI agents and put on a flight to Montreal. Jos Imperatori, who had resigned his post as vice consul of the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, was expected to fly on to Havana, an FBI spokeswoman said. The US charged Imperatori was a contact for Mariano Faget, a Cuban-born US immigration officer arrested a week and a half ago for allegedly spying for Havana. The Cuban government has claimed the allegations against Imperatori were trumped up by the FBI and Cuban exiles in Miami to hinder the return of Elian Gonzalez, the six-year-old ensnared in an international custody dispute.

In hopes of averting liquidation, Amtrak is developing a plan to expand passenger service, tap into the business of shipping refrigerated produce, and increase mail and freight service, the railway's chairman said. Tommy Thompson, who is also Wisconsin's governor, said the expansion would include a luxury route between New York and Los Angeles and more Midwestern routes from the hub, Chicago. In an effort to have little or no empty space on trains, other routes would be split up, or the number of cars would be reduced.

On Saviour's Day, the most important annual gathering of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farra-khan, the group's leader, was expected to elaborate on his call for unity with orthodox Muslims in the US. Farrakhan, who claims he's a changed man following a serious illness, made a joint appearance for the first time Friday with W. Deen Mohammed, the head of the rival Muslim American Society and son of the late Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad.

Hackers shut down the FBI's Web site for more than three hours Feb. 18 in the same type of attack that previously disrupted popular Web destinations such as Yahoo! and, the bureau confirmed. The FBI, which has been investigating the earlier attacks, noted its computers weren't broken into and that the affected Internet site is sepa- rate from all its internal systems, including investigative files.

In a renewed effort to reduce waste and fraud, Medicare officials were to announce increased oversight of the 56 insurance companies that process claims filed with the federal health-care program. In 1998, Medicare made $12.6 billion in improper payments, the inspector general of the Health and Human Services Department estimated.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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