News In Brief

After a 27-year career in counterintelligence for the US, an FBI agent was arrested in his Virginia home on espionage charges. Robert Philip Hanssen was taken into custody shortly after he was seen making a "drop" of classified documents at a local park. Hanssen, who was to be arraigned in US District Court in Alexandria, Va., is accused of disclosing US surveillance methods to Russia. He also may have confirmed for the Russians information originally supplied to them by convicted CIA spy Aldrich Ames.

On his lawyer's advice, the commander of the submarine USS Greeneville was refusing to speak with the National Transportation Safety Board. Cmdr. Scott Waddle said his silence was pending the Navy's own investigation into the Greeneville's collision with a Japanese fishing boat off the coast of Hawaii Feb. 9. His information could be key to unraveling why the Greeneville, whose sonar and periscope equipment apparently were in working order, failed to detect the trawler during an emergency surfacing drill.

The Supreme Court refused to hear a case that would reopen debate over the 1973 Endangered Species Act, which makes it a crime to "take" an endangered animal without a permit. Controversy over the act grew out of a 1986 federal decision to reintroduce red wolves to eastern North Carolina. The case turned on the question of whether farmers in the state may kill stray wolves that threaten their livestock.

The federal government rated 29 percent of bridges in the US as "deficient," according to an Associated Press analysis of Federal Highway Administration records as of Aug. 31, 2000. While few deficient bridges are in danger of collapsing, the analysis found many are too weak for buses or trucks, too narrow to handle heavy traffic, or are in need of immediate repairs. The figure is an improvement from four years ago, when 31 percent of bridges were deemed deficient, the report said.

Dozens of homes were evacuated, part of a major highway was closed, and some prison inmates with respiratory problems were relocated as a wildfire continued to blaze in central Florida. No injuries were reported even as the wind-driven fire jumped I-4, a heavily traveled route connecting Tampa, Orlando, and Daytona Beach. The fire has consumed 11,000 acres.

Producer-director Stanley Kramer, who died in Woodland Hills, Calif, made socially conscious films that explored such themes as racism, cowardice, and nuclear holocaust. Among his classics were "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," "High Noon, "On the Beach," "The Defiant Ones," and "Judgment at Nuremberg." In all, Kramer's films earned 80 Academy Award nominations and won 16 Oscars for a Who's Who of Hollywood stars.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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