News In Brief

California officials debated the contours of a plan to increase the state's power supply. As part the proposal, the state would issue revenue bonds to cover the utilities' debts, then oblige consumers to pay the money back over 10 years through rate increases of up to 15 percent. The plan has met with opposition from consumer advocates.

Union Pacific engineers who called a strike over the weekend will stay on the job at least two more weeks due to a temporary restraining order by a federal judge in Omaha, Neb. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, which represents more than 8,000 Union Pacific employees, is contesting new qualifications for personal leave days. Judge Lyle Strom set a hearing for Feb. 7 on whether the engineers may strike over the matter. Union Pacific is the nation's largest rail freight carrier, hauling such goods as chemicals, food, and automobiles.

In the first radio address of his administration, President Bush touted the education proposals he sent Congress last week. But he also said he'd listen to opponents of the plan. Critics - among them House minority leader Richard Gephardt, who responded for Democrats - object to Bush's call for vouchers, in which federal money would pay for tuition elsewhere if public schools don't improve over a three-year span. Less controversial are other parts of the plan, such as calls for increased financial aid and an attempt to eliminate red tape.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board were to begin probing the crash of a small charter plane that killed all 10 people aboard, including two players on the men's basketball team at Oklahoma State University. The plane, which went down 40 miles east of Denver, was one of several bringing the team, its staff, and broadcasters home after a game against the University of Colorado. A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said snowy weather had reduced visibility and that icing may have contributed to the crash.

"The Believer," a controversial drama about a Jew who questions his faith, and "Southern Comfort," a documentary with transgender themes, took the top prizes at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The event is the top gathering for independent filmmakers in the US.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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