News In Brief

Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov. George W. Bush were poised to score commanding victories in their respective Democratic and Republican "Super Tuesday" primaries. Speculation mounted that Democrat Bill Bradley would pull out of the race shortly, since Gore was expected to sweep every state voting today. Doubts also surrounded the viability of Sen. John McCain's campaign, although polls showed the Arizona Republican leading in most New England states and running competitively in New York.

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal by four Republican members of Congress who challenged President Clinton's authority to provide federal help in preserving historic rivers and river towns. The justices let stand rulings that said the four legislators lack the legal standing to mount such a challenge. In a case from New York, the justices also ruled that prosecutors are free to tell jurors that the presence of defendants during trials allows them a unique opportunity to tailor their testimony to fit the evidence. The decision reversed a ruling by a federal appeals court that barred prosecutors from making general attacks on the credibility of defendants for being present at a trial.

In the battle against shady "get rich quick" ventures touted in classified advertisements, the Federal Trade Commission, Justice Department, and other officials were to announce they have filed complaints against 68 operations allegedly involved in such scams. The complaints would force the operations to substantiate claims about potential earnings and provide identities of current and former participants in the ventures. Some 100 newspapers also have agreed to take action by including their own classified ads that inform consumers of what to look for in a legitimate business promotion, officials said.

Following recent differences with Washington over a Navy bombing range on the Caribbean island of Vieques, an estimated 90,000 Puerto Ricans marched in their capital to celebrate their US citizenship. Organizers said the San Juan rally was meant to counter the "separatist message" sent to the US by the Vieques controversy, which began last April when a bombing accident on the island used as a target range killed a civilian security guard. In the face of Puerto Rican demands for the range to be shut down, Clinton agreed to allow the island's 9,800 residents to hold a referendum on the issue.

Boeing Co., hit by mounting delays in aircraft deliveries, said it would impose - within a day - its "final contract offer" on about 17,000 striking engineers and technical workers. The contract includes guaranteed increases for certain individuals and pay adjustments for merit and critical skills. But Boeing said it wouldn't impose other contentious parts of its offer, including new health-care provisions and reductions in life-insurance benefits. The Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace dismissed the move as an unfair labor practice and an attempt to get workers to cross picket lines.

A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 carrying 142 people barreled off the end of a runway in Burbank, Calif., slamming through a retaining wall and striking at least one car before coming to a halt in the middle of a six-lane street. There were no serious injuries. A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said the front landing gear collapsed but the cause of the accident hadn't been determined.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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