News In Brief

The Supreme Court overturned a $300,000 cap on "front pay" damages that workers can be awarded in cases involving mistreatment on the job. The justices sided with a former DuPont chemical plant employee who claimed male colleagues had sabotaged her work. She sued to overturn the cap applied to her case by a federal appeals court. Justices ruled that workers wronged on the job should not be limited in the amount they sue for, considering what they presumably would have earned absent the mistreatment.

The high court also ruled 6 to 3 that jurors who sentenced a retarded killer to death in Texas did not get clear instructions on how to weigh his mental abilities against the severity of the crime. The ruling overturned the sentencing of Johnny Paul Penry, whose lawyers claim he has the mind of a seven-year-old. The case, sent back to a federal appeals court, does not answer a larger question about whether execution of the mentally retarded is constitutional. The justices said instructions left no vehicle for expressing the view that Penry did not deserve the death penalty.

The Federal Aviation Administration was set to unveil a 10-year plan for modernizing the US air-traffic system, including high-tech proposals to provide better weather predictions, agency sources said. The FAA plans to spend heavily on technology to allow the system to handle 1 billion passengers expected to fly on US airlines in the coming decade. The FAA also wants gradually to implement a satellite-navigation system that would largely replace ground-based radars, would open more routes, and would reduce delays. The central elements will cost a projected $11 billion.

Indiana lawmakers unanimously passed a measure that would allow residents to put their names on an official "do not call" list for telemarketers. At least 21 states have similar laws, among them New York and Florida, the first to pass such a measure in 1998. Indiana's law is one of the strongest. But charities, newspapers, realtors, and insurance agents may still call homes, provided they use local employees rather than big telemarketing firms. Violators would be subject to fines of up to $25,000.

About 1,500 registered nurses went on strike at two hospitals in Minnesota's Twin Cities after rejecting a tentative contract offer they said did not provide for adequate patient care. Meanwhile, about 3,200 nurses at four other hospitals demanded a recount of their contract-ratification votes. The contract had offered pay increases of almost 20 percent over three years. Hospitals are using replacement nurses and other caregivers during the strike.

"The Producers," Mel Brooks's musical comedy about two showmen scheming to become rich by staging a theatrical flop about Nazis - won a record 12 Tony Awards. Sweeping every category in which it was nominated, including best musical, it topped the 10 Tonys that "Hello, Dolly!" won in 1964.

Anthony Quinn, who died in Boston Sunday, was an artist, writer, and Oscar winner remembered for his roles as the earthy hero of "Zorba the Greek" and the fierce Bedouin leader in "Lawrence of Arabia." He appeared in at least 100 feature films in his 50-year career, also winning Academy Awards for best supporting actor in "Viva Zapata!" (1952) and "Lust for Life" (1956). The Mexican-born Quinn became an international leading man renowned for his honest acting style.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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