News In Brief

Move over, pokemon

Attention doll collectors: John F. Kennedy is coming to store shelves soon. Toymaker Hasbro has designed a GI Joe-type action figure that commemorates Kennedy's attempt at rescue in World War II. He'll be decked out in khakis, his hair molded in plastic. And he'll be carrying a knife. The Kennedy Library Foundation OK'd the project - but hasn't hesitated in insisting that certain details be just right. For example: alterations to the nose "to make a more authentic shape," a Hasbro spokesman said. Retail price: $30 to $35.

Don't force me to use this!

The way things turned out, the alleged robber pretty much - well - blew it in liberating $7,000 from a National Bank of Greece branch in Piraeus. The suspect threatened to detonate what he said was a bag full of grenades if the money wasn't handed over. But in his haste to escape, the bag came open, spilling oranges onto the floor. Since he no longer seemed so menacing, he was easily subdued and arrested.

States accused of hoarding or diverting welfare funds

A coalition of antipoverty groups claims in a new report that $7 billion in federal block grants intended for welfare recipients - dating back to 1997 - has yet to be disbursed. The National Campaign for Jobs and Income also said some states have diverted the money for tax cuts or other uses. There are no deadlines for spending the grants or rules for returning them. Only five states - Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, and Rhode Island - spent their entire block grants, the study shows. The states with the largest unspent federal welfare funds, according to the coalition, and the amount for each (in millions):

1. California $1.6 billion

2. New York 1.1 billion

3. Ohio 733.9

4. Florida 392.6

5. Wisconsin 321.4

6. Pennsylvania 299.9

7. New Jersey 253.1

8. Indiana 199.5

9. Washington 198.3

10. Texas 175.6

Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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