News In Brief

In a high-stakes bid to bring peace to the Middle East, President Clinton announced Israeli and Palestinian leaders will meet with him next week at the Camp David presidential retreat. The objective is to bridge "significant differences" that have led to an impasse between the two sides, Clinton said. Months ago, the two sides set a Sept. 13 deadline to draw up a final accord. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has said he'll declare a state on that date unless there are conclusive settlement negotiations before then.

Clinton also was to sign two UN pacts designed to help protect children from sexual exploitation and from fighting in wars. States that sign the treaty agreements would have to ensure no one under age 18 takes part in combat, as well as take action to prohibit the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography. The documents are optional protocols, or additions, to the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, which the US hasn't ratified.

Hundreds of protesters converged on the hamlet of Jarbidge, Nev., to reopen a road the US Forest Service had effectively closed - a status that many demonstrators indicated was symbolic of too much government regulation. When South Canyon Road was washed out by a flood in 1995, federal authorities squelched efforts to repair it, out of concern that the work would jeopardize the habitat of the threatened bull trout. The government also sought to halt Tuesday's protest, but a federal judge denied an injunction - although he warned participants they could be prosecuted for any environmental damage.

Ten people were arrested in Morristown, N.J., while demonstrating against a white supremacist's Independence Day speech that called for an end to affirmative-action programs. Richard Barrett, head of the Mississippi-based Nationalist Movement, led a small rally, while more than 300 whites, blacks, and Hispanics held a counter-event nearby. Some in the latter group pushed down metal barricades and hurled projectiles. One of those arrested was taken to a hospital.

A study last year that said medical mistakes kill as many as 98,000 hospitalized Americans annually used flawed methodology and is greatly exaggerated, scientists at the Indiana University School of Medicine reported. The earlier study, by the Institute of Medicine, didn't establish that medical errors caused the deaths and failed to eliminate other crucial factors for patients, the Indiana researchers said. But in a rebuttal in the Journal of the American Medical Association, an author of the original study defended the research, saying it may even have underestimated the extent of the problem.

Many Hispanics are stuck in an increasing number of low-paying jobs that offer little promise of advancement, a study by a Latino political-advocacy group concluded. The National Council of La Raza, at its annual convention in San Diego, reported median income for Hispanic married-couples was $34,816 in 1998, compared with $54,736 for white families. But despite that finding, the report also revealed that Hispanics experienced the highest increase of per capita income among the major racial and ethnic groups between 1997 and 1998.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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