News In Brief

An unrepentant Timothy McVeigh was put to death at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Ind. He did not issue a final statement before being administered a lethal injection. The execution was the first at the hands of the US government in 38 years. It was witnessed via live, closed-circuit TV by 325 people in Oklahoma City, all of them survivors or relatives of the victims of McVeigh's 1995 bombing of the Murrah federal building.

If public school officials permit other outside groups to meet on their premises after classes, they also must allow Christian children's clubs to do so, the Supreme Court ruled. By a 6-to-3 vote in a New York case, the court said a group's free-speech rights had been violated when it was refused access to a school. Writing for the majority Justice Clarence Thomas said such gatherings would not violate the separation of church and state.

On a 5-to-4 ruling, the high court dealt the Justice Department a defeat, declaring that the use by police of thermal imaging techniques to help detect the presence of illegal drugs in a private home represents a search and requires a prior warrant. The ruling grew out of an Oregon case in which a Bureau of Land Management agent used such technology to detect a marijuana-growing operation.

The price at the pump of gasoline has dropped 3-1/2 cents since mid-May to an average of $1.73 a gallon, the US's leading industry analyst reported. Trilby Lundberg said her finding should ease concerns of a shortage during the peak summer driving season.

A delegation from EgyptAir is to present its formal objections tomorrow to a federal report on the October 1999 crash of a New York-to-Cairo flight that killed all 217 people aboard. The draft by the National Transportation Safety Board reportedly finds no evidence of mechanical problems. That has led to speculation, vigorously protested by the carrier and the Cairo government, that copilot Gameel El Batouty caused the accident in a murder-suicide.

Rejecting a commonly held belief, researchers said their study of heavy computer use found it does not increase the risk of developing the condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome, marked by pain and numbness in the hands and wrists. The study, by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is considered the first of its kind.

The race to succeed the late US Rep. Joseph Moakley (D) of Massachusetts became less congested when Matthew (Max) Kennedy announced he would not seek the office. He is the son of Robert Kennedy, the late US attorney general, and nephew of US Sen Edward Kennedy (D). Opinion polls indicated the younger Kennedy was one of three prospective candidates with a realistic hope of winning.

John McKay, who died in Tampa, Fla., guided his teams to four mythical national championships as head football coach at the University of Southern California. In 1975, he left to take over the new Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the NFL, but lost a record 26 straight games before the franchise finally reached the playoffs in 1979.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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