News In Brief

As hand-counting of presidential votes proceeded in the counties of Broward, Miami-Dade (below), and Palm Beach, the Florida Supreme Court was preparing to consider whether those tallies could be included in the state's certified total. A decision could be handed down by tomorrow, a former justice said. Meanwhile, a judge in Palm Beach County ruled he lacked the authority to order a revote, which was sought by residents who contended they were confused by the controversial "butterfly ballot."

Slightly more than 1 in 4 US companies expect to hire additional workers at the beginning of next year, a record high for first-quarter expectations, employment agency Manpower Inc. projected. Its survey, which polled almost 16,000 employers, found that the most optimistic industry was the services sector. Traditionally that has not been the case, a Manpower executive said, but retailers and other employers are finding it necessary to recruit year-round instead of on a seasonal basis.

Police arrested at least 1,700 people Sunday during an annual demonstration against the Army's School of the Americas, which trains Latin American soldiers in west-central Georgia. The protesters, many of whom blame the school for human rights abuses committed by some of its graduates, timed the event for the anniversary of the 1989 killings of six Jesuit priests in El Salvador. Most of the arrests were for trespassing, as people entered Fort Benning. Damaging government property also was cited.

Federal investigators are testing a safety mechanism that may have caused an Alaska Airlines jet to crash last January, The Seattle Times reported. A small control piece called an "end stop" may have broken off the plane's horizontal stabilizer, in which case the pilots would have lost control of the plane, the newspaper said, citing documents from the National Transportation Safety Board. The Times said the finding, if substantiated, could shift some liability to Boeing. The NTSB is still investigating the cause of the crash and has public hearings scheduled next month.

Local investigators in Vail, Colo., expected help from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in probing a fire that broke out at one of the largest hotels in the ski resort area. Preliminary damage estimates were put between $12 million and $20 million. No guests were injured, however. In 1998, a series of arson fires caused $12 million in damage on Vail Mountain; a radical activist group claimed responsibility.

Lawyer Charles Ruff, who died Sunday in Washington, defended President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal and at his impeachment trial. Ruff also served as a special prosecutor during the Watergate investigation, was a former US attorney for the District of Columbia, and taught on the faculties of several law schools.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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