News In Brief

The search for a new nominee for Labor secretary began after Linda Chavez, who came under fire for housing an illegal immigrant, bowed out. Aides for President-elect Bush reportedly ran several names by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) of Massachusetts, who will chair confirmation hearings for any Labor nominee. Reports speculated that names under consideration could include former Rep. James Talent (R) of Missouri and Rep. Jennifer Dunn (R) of Washington.

A Pentagon commission, drawing lessons from the attack last October on the USS Cole in Yemen, recommended more attention to antiterrorist protections for US forces in transit abroad. It also urged the military to "get out of the purely defensive mode" and do more to detect and deter terrorist threats. Another recommendation: more tailoring of intelligence reports for specific forces.

A seven-hour meeting between California Gov. Gray Davis and top officials in Washington didn't yield a final deal for the state's electricity crisis, but "progress was made," Energy Secretary Richardson said. The participants agreed on the need to keep California's utilities out of bankruptcy, and Davis said the parties were hammering out measures that would allow the utilities to enter into long-term contracts with out-of-state suppliers - which could lead to more reasonable prices. The parties agreed to meet again this weekend.

More than a year after the Kansas Board of Education adopted science curriculum standards that omitted references to many evolutionary concepts, a newly elected board moved to restore them. The board said it would give final approval to the revised standards at its Feb. 13-14 meeting. Enough members signaled their support to guarantee adoption.

Responding to research that shows young people see military life as dehumanizing, the Army unveiled a replacement for its two-decade-old recruiting slogan, "Be all you can be." The new slogan, "An Army of one," part of a $150 million advertising campaign, is to premiere tonight on NBC, Army Secretary Louis Caldera said.

The annual loss of wetlands to developers and farmers has plunged to the lowest level in almost a half century, two Clinton administration studies found. One of the reports, by the Interior Department, showed that from 1986 to 1997 the rate of wetlands loss fell to 58,000 acres a year. In the prior decade, the rate was 290,000. Wetlands provide habitats for animals and birds, cleanse drinking water, and absorb flooding from nearby streams and rivers.

Pelicans, sea turtles, and shrimp are among the wildlife that have struggled with - or have died from - record cold temperatures across the South this winter. Especially hard hit have been manatees, some of whom have developed frostbite. Above, a rescue team from Sea World inspects a manatee that had sought warmth in the outflow waters of a generating station in Jacksonville, Fla.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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