News In Brief


"It was so odd, I wept," Jeanne-Marie Kerlizien said. What was? Well, something that probably most of us have taken for granted all our lives. Last week, for the first time, the elderly resident of remote Plougonven, France, had her isolated home wired for electricity, although the town itself was connected to the national grid 40 years ago. All this time, she has made do with candlelight and cold water, while rearing three children. Friends were quick to give her a refrigerator, but she doesn't want a television set. "I read the newspaper," she said.

A review of past presidents amid election 2000 tangle

As many surveys have before it, a new ranking of US presidents by The Wall Street Journal and the Washington-based Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies names three greats: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt. But the politically balanced survey of 78 prominent scholars does yield some notable differences. Ronald Reagan scored higher than in the past - in the "near great" category. Meanwhile, John Kennedy was cited as the most overrated by a wide margin and came in at No. 18. Bill Clinton, at No. 24, placed near the bottom of the "average" category. The worst overall: James Buchanan. The presidents who rated in the survey's two highest categories:


1. George Washington

2. Abraham Lincoln

3. Franklin Roosevelt

Near great

4. Thomas Jefferson

5. Theodore Roosevelt

6. Andrew Jackson

7. Harry Truman

8. Ronald Reagan

9. Dwight Eisenhower

10. James Polk

11. Woodrow Wilson

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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