News In Brief

In its counterproposal to the government's breakup plan, Microsoft outlined measures to curb business practices without splitting the company in two, The Washington Post reported, citing sources familiar with the plan. Microsoft would give computermakers greater flexibility to alter Windows software, and offer versions of Windows without access to its Internet browser. The software giant is scheduled Wednesday to present the counterproposal. The Justice Department and 17 states have proposed dividing Microsoft into one company that sells software applications and another that sells the Windows operating system.

Crime decreased for a record eighth year in a row, the White House reported. Data from the FBI report show that crime fell in every category, with an overall crime rate drop of 7 percent. The nation's biggest cities experienced the smallest decline.

The Los Angeles Police Department will face a civil rights lawsuit from the Justice Department unless it agrees to a number of reforms, the Los Angeles Times reported. More than 80 convictions have been dismissed, and resignations, suspensions, and firings have removed some 30 police officers as a result of the Justice Department's probe of abusive behavior at the LAPD. Bill Lann Lee, head of the Justice Department's civil rights division, is to meet with city officials today.

A widely respected think tank criticized President Clinton's missile defense strategy. The London-based Institute for Strategic Studies charged that US steps to unilaterally develop a national missile defense are causing "damage" in NATO. The report further criticized the proposal as unnecessary and technically infeasible. Its cost is now estimated at $49 billion.

The FBI has found no substantiation to the allegation that Israeli spies compromised White House and other government telephone systems, a senior federal law-enforcement official said. The year-long investigation is not technically closed, but law-enforcement officials say they've uncovered no facts to support the accusation.

A presidential advisory panel gave the CIA poor marks for its internal investigation of former CIA director John Deutch, who lost his security clearances for storing classified information on his home computer. The President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board submitted its findings to CIA Deputy Director General John Gordon, who is expected to take action this week.

The South Carolina House will begin debating tomorrow a Senate-passed bill to remove the Confederate flag from the State House dome and fly a similar banner at a Confederate soldiers monument. Gov. Jim Hodges urged lawmakers not to adjourn the legislative session until the matter is resolved. The NAACP says it will continue its state boycott if the bill passes.

Compiled by Judy Nichols and Joshua S. Burek

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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