News In Brief


The devastating cyclones that raked the Indian state of Orissa last October left millions of people in need. But after disasters of such magnitude, not all aid arrives promptly. And by the time it does, some of it isn't so urgent anymore. Thus, it shouldn't be difficult to understand the perplexity of Orissa officials, who have on their hands a newly arrived - and huge - consignment of woolen blankets. The state now is in the midst of a broiling heat wave, with some locations reporting temperatures as high as 109 degrees F. and humidity reaching 92 percent.


Somewhere in England, a family is nonplused over what's wrong with this picture. Along with chocolate eggs, Adrian and Helen Domanski bought their children a real Easter bunny. But as they slept, the new pet helped itself to the candy. The Domanskis awoke to find it, face covered with brown goo, too full to move. Said Adrian: "I was led to believe that rabbits like carrots."

Public school students grade out highest ... in Minnesota

The state whose public school students showed the best overall academic achievement is Minnesota, results of a new study show. The 1999 Report Card on Education by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a bipartisan group of state legislators, used 100 measures of educational resources and student proficiency to assess schools (K-12) in every state and Washington, D.C. The study also found that while per-pupil spending rose 24.6 percent over the past 20 years, 67 percent of eighth-graders are currently performing below the "proficiency" level in reading. The top states in educational achievement:

1. Minnesota

2. Montana

3. Iowa

4. Wisconsin

5. New Hampshire

6. Oregon

7. Washington

8. Kansas

9. Nebraska

10. Alaska

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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