News In Brief

Gasoline prices fell 2.3 cents, on average, to $1.625 a gallon last week - the second consecutive decline after record highs last month, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported. Midwest drivers continued to pay the most, although conventional gasoline there was down 12.5 cents to $1.679 a gallon. Reformulated gasoline, whose use has been blamed by the oil industry for contributing to price increases, dropped 15.9 cents to $1.722 a gallon in the Midwest, the EIA said.

President Clinton hailed Mexico's elections won by opposition candidate Vicente Fox as "the freest and fairest in the nation's history." Administration officials expressed hope President-elect Fox would follow through on plans to crack down on drug cartels, a source of violence and corruption. But one matter that could cause friction is Fox's proposal to open the border so Mexicans and Americans can go back and forth without restriction.

Delegates to the Libertarian Party's national convention nominated Harry Browne as its presidential candidate. The author, who also ran in 1996 and finished fifth, advocates a program that will do away with income taxes, Social Security, the war on drugs, and federal welfare. For Browne's running mate, the delegates chose Art Olivier, a former mayor of Bellflower, Calif. The Libertarian Party claims 30,000 dues-paying members.

Officials in San Francisco and Santa Monica, Calif., said they'll appeal a ruling that strikes down their voter-approved bans on extra ATM fees for noncustomers. US district Judge Vaughn Walker ruled last Friday that only the federal government could impose such restrictions. The ordinances were challenged by Wells Fargo and Bank of America, which control 86 percent of the ATMs in the two cities. California Federal later joined the suit.

Five New York police officers and three 911 dispatchers will face disciplinary action as harsh as dismissal for failing to do their jobs during attacks on women in Central Park last month, the city's police commissioner said. In addition, six commanding officers are to receive written notice of their mistakes during the incidents. Many of the women accused police officers of ignoring their pleas for help or refusing to write up reports of the crimes.

An observation tower in Gettysburg, Pa., was demolished as part of a federal effort to return the famous Civil War battlefield to the way it looked in the 19th century. The 26-year-old structure, measuring at least 330 feet tall, came down Monday, the 137th anniversary of the crucial battle's final day. Preservationists had been trying to remove the tower for years.

In New York, two members of the Veteran Corps of Artillery help Miss America Heather French fire a salute to ships participating in Operation Sail 2000. The event, billed as the largest maritime event in history, was to feature 180 "tall ships" and at least 24 military vessels from around the world.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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