News In Brief


The letter to Marcos Vargas from Maryland's Motor Vehicle Administration was blunt: Pay a $340 fine for failing to appear in trafffic court or your driver's license can be suspended. Fortunately, Marcos had the perfect defense. Or, rather, his father did. Marcos Vargas was the name given by a motorist who couldn't produce a license or registration when stopped by police. Sure, enough, state records showed an ID card for him. But the holder of the card is barely one year old; his parents obtained it shortly after his birth. So dad took him to the MVA branch office in Frederick to set the record straight.


It turns out they weren't poisonous, but snakes were greatly upsetting the staff and patients at a hospital in southern Egypt. They apparently had been roused by renovation work at the Assiut University facility 200 miles from Cairo. What to do? Solution: hire snake charmers. It worked. Already, six of the crawly critters and a scorpion have been caught.

Many Americans uneasy over mixing religion and politics

Democrat Joseph Lieberman, the first Jew on a major party's presidential ticket, has made the interplay of religion and politics a hot subject this election year. In view of that, the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press undertook a collaborative project to gauge Americans' views on the role of faith in public life. The survey of 2,000 registered voters produced conflicting results. A majority of respondents said it's important for a president to have strong religious beliefs, but many of them aren't comfortable hearing politicians discussing such views. The percentage of respondants who agreed with these statements:

It is important for a president to have strong religious beliefs 70%

Government funding should be given to religious organizations 54%

Churches should express their views on politics 51%

I'm uncomfortable when politicians discuss how religious they are 50%

Clergymen should discuss politics from the pulpit 32%

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

of 5 stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read 5 of 5 free stories

Only $1 for your first month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.