News In Brief

Two top-secret computer hard drives containing nuclear weapons data disappeared from a vault inside New Mexico's Los Alamos National Laboratory. The hard drives, used to store highly technical nuclear weapons safety data, were discovered missing May 7 when the facility was threatened by wildfires. Preliminary investigation by the FBI and Department of Energy, which were informed of the incident June 1, revealed no evidence of espionage, officials said. The missing files are the latest embarrassing security breach for the laboratory, which came under fire last year when an employee, Wen Ho Lee, was accused of illegally copying nuclear secrets.

Federal budget surplus projections are likely to grow even higher - to perhaps $4.2 trillion, analysts said. The White House Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office are expected to raise their 10-year surplus projections in coming weeks by as much as $1 trillion. The windfall, made possible by surging tax revenues, should give presidential candidates Al Gore and George W. Bush greater leverage to propose spending and debt-reduction initiatives, analysts said.

More than 40 former students of Hare Krishna boarding schools filed a $400 million lawsuit against the sect's leaders, alleging years of sexual, physical, and emotional molestation. The suit, filed in a Dallas federal court, charges the International Society of Krishna Consciousness with allowing suspected sex offenders to work in its schools. A Hare Krishna spokesman acknowledged child abuse in the schools and said the organization has been working to address the problem, alleged to have occurred over two decades. Hare Krishna, a form of devotional Hinduism, was brought to the US from India in 1966 by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

The Church of Scientology will not face criminal charges stemming from the 1995 death of a female member under its care in Clearwater, Fla., prosecutors said. They dropped charges against the church after a medical examiner changed her findings in the death of Lisa McPherson. The church steadfastly denied responsibility.

Hundreds of people have been forced to evacuate the path of two wildfires in Colorado. Wind gusts expanded the Loveland and Bailey blazes to at least 2,000 acres each, threatening hundreds of homes. Fire-friendly conditions prevail throughout the West in what is already the worst start of a fire season since 1996.

Rural senior citizens pay more for medicines and find it harder to receive prescription drug benefits, a new White House report said. The report heightens debate over competing proposals to offer seniors a prescription drug benefit - a major election-year issue. The House could vote on the measure within weeks.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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