News In Brief

California officials said a record electricity-rate increase earlier this year will cover the state's power-buying costs for the "foreseeable future," and should leave enough for utilities to cover their costs without more rate hikes, The Los Angeles Times reported. The announcement eased worries that the high cost of procuring electricity would consume all of the 3-cents-a-kilowatt-hour rate increase for 9 million customers of Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. The state said it would need about half that hike to pay for power. The surplus could be used to pay down the utilities' debts.

The mayor of York, Pa., and eight other men pleaded innocent at their arraignment for the shooting death of a black woman during the city's 1969 race riots. Charlie Robertson (D) and the other defendants are charged with murder and conspiracy stemming from the death of Lillie Belle Allen, who was visiting relatives when she was gunned down by a white mob. Robertson, then a police officer, is accused of handing out ammunition and encouraging the mob to kill blacks.

Scientists said new research indicates the recent upsurge in hurricane intensity and frequency in the Atlantic Ocean is likely to continue for the next 10 to 40 years. Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration analyzed the history of sea surface temperatures and vertical wind shear, both major conditions influencing storm formation. They discovered that patterns starting in the 1800s show storm intensity switched back and forth every few decades.

Meanwhile, NASA launched a $380 million weather satellite from Cape Canaveral, Fla., that will track global storms and serve as a backup for two other satellites. Unlike older satellites, this one also carries an X-ray telescope that will capture images of the sun's outer atmosphere to warn of incoming geomagnetic and radiation storms.

At least 3,000 supporters of Israel attended a rally in Los Angeles to endorse peace and remember those slain during recent tragedies in the Middle East. California Gov. Gray Davis (D) and new Mayor James Hahn (D) joined supporters to urge an end to the escalating violence. Los Angeles has the nation's second-largest Jewish population. Nearby, a dozen Palestinian supporters called for the return of Palestinian homelands.

Two cars jumped a guard rail at an Ohio speedway during an auto race and veered into the grandstand, killing one person and injuring at least 11 others. The official cause of the accident at the Lorain County Speedway, about 40 miles west of Cleveland, hadn't been determined. Witnesses said when two cars bumped, the drivers lost control and went over a guard rail. Drivers were competing in a NASCAR Racing Series Late Models event when the accident occurred.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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