News In Brief

Audiotape from the US surveillance plane monitoring a missionary flight shot down over the Amazon River last week revealed CIA officers had radioed their doubts to the Peruvian Air Force that the civilian plane was smuggling drugs, The Washington Post reported. As part of an interdiction program, the CIA conducts surveillance over drug-growing areas of Peru to point out potential traffickers. It is then up to Peru's Air Force to decide whether to take action. President Bush suspended the program, blaming the mistake that killed two US citizens on improperly "accelerating" procedures. But Peruvian officials said the pilot of the missionary plane didn't respond to radio messages.

The record industry has continued to aggressively market adult music to teenagers, even as Hollywood curtails ads for violent movies to youths, the Federal Trade Commission reported. Its findings shifted focus from movie makers to the music industry as the worst offender in a study of promotions for adult entertainment to minors. The FTC said five top record companies advertised music with explicit lyrics on TV and in magazines with mostly under-17 audiences. The report said only one-fourth of ads for adult music had parental advisory labels.

Hawaii's public school teachers were to return to classrooms after agreeing to a new, four-year contract. The deal gives 16 percent increases in salary, plus bonuses, to the 13,000 teachers who'd been on strike since April 5. Their walkout kept 182,000 students out of school. Gov. Ben Cayetano (D) said the new pact puts a state with a high cost of living among the top 10 average teacher salaries in the US.

Sen. Robert Torricelli (D) of New Jersey has denied accusations that he illegally took political donations from campaign donor David Chang, a New Jersey businessman. Chang has pleaded guilty to making $53,700 in improper donations to Torricelli's 1996 Senate campaign and has reportedly told prosecutors he gave the senator gifts to get his help with international business deals. Federal law prohibits lawmakers from accepting gifts of $50 or more.

Protests by about 40 Harvard University students demanding "a living wage" for the school's custodians, cooks, and other blue-collar workers entered a second week. Students, among them Maple Arzsa (below, r.) and Alegra Churchill (l.), have been living in the university president's office since April 18, demanding that Harvard pay its subcontracted workers $10.25 an hour instead of $6.50. Harvard says 400 of its 13,000 workers make less than $10 an hour.

After more than a week of sandbagging, residents of Davenport, Iowa, watched the Mississippi River crest at 22.29 feet, the third-highest level on record in the region's largest city without a flood wall. Forecasters said the level could fluctuate for a day or two before falling.


(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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