News In Brief

Democratic candidate James Hahn won the Los Angeles mayoral race, beating state Assembly Speaker Antonio Villa-raigosa (D), who had hoped to become the city's first Hispanic mayor in more than 100 years. Hahn, a longtime city attorney, received 54 percent of the vote in the runoff race in the US's second-largest city. Hahn had overwhelming support from the black community and was able to win over moderate and conservative voters who backed other candidates in the primary. Mayor Richard Riordan (R), who could not run again because of term limits, had backed Villaraigosa. Hahn takes office July 1.

In preparation for a meeting with European allies next week, President Bush was finalizing a new global-warming proposal believed to focus largely on voluntary measures to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants and other sources. Bush and his Cabinet-level task force on global warming hope to present an alternative to the 1997 Kyoto agreement that he denounced in March, officials said. The plan likely will be based on assumptions that greenhouse gases can be reduced through improved plant equipment and preserving farm and forest areas that absorb the gases.

Sen. Robert Torricelli (D) of New Jersey asked the Justice Department to assign the criminal investigation of his personal and political finances to a special counsel, saying such a move is needed to shield his case from "political considerations." The outcome of the case against Torricelli could potentially tip the balance of power in the newly shifted Senate back to Republicans. Torricelli's attorney said any decisions about charging him would be reviewed by officials at the Justice Department.

Twenty people from the Detroit area were indicted in a 10-state identity theft and fraud ring that allegedly stole at least $1.3 million from banks and merchants in Michigan, New York, and other states. Suspects are accused of stealing personal information from the Internet, businesses, and banks to produce counterfeit birth certificates, Social Security cards, and driver's licenses. The charges carry sentences from five to 30 years in prison.

Public health officials in Ohio were to start inoculating 5,800 high school students in an effort to contain a meningitis-related outbreak. Two students from an Alliance-area high school died last month from the disease. One other student has since become ill, but her condition is not considered life-threatening.

Allison, the first major storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, was downgraded to a tropical depression after dumping as much as a foot of rain in southeast Texas and flooding streets and homes. Winds gusted up to 60 m.p.h. and caused scattered damage.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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