Utah claims it was cheated out of a congressional seat by a Supreme Court decision upholding a ruling that gave the Census Bureau wide latitude to count some Americans living abroad, while excluding others. The Census Bureau takes into account people living overseas in military or government service. But the 2000 census did not include some 11,000 Utahans serving abroad as Mormon missionaries. Utah asked that the bureau either count the missionaries or omit the federal workers. Either would likely have resulted in an additional House seat for Utah.
Companies at the forefront of trace-detection technology are finding themselves in competition with Labrador retrievers and German shepherds. At a conference in Atlantic City, N.J., aviation officials plan to compare the merits of high-tech ion-mobility spectrometers with dogs. Proponents of scanners say dogs tire quickly, are high-maintenance, and require skilled handlers. But while new legislation requires bomb detectors in all major US airports by the end of 2002, the FAA has no plans to retire its dogs. This year, the FAA had 188 canine teams working full time at 39 major airports.
The Supreme Court refused to consider a challenge to New Jersey's ban on semiautomatic assault weapons. The decision is the latest in a series of setbacks for gun-ownership groups: In February, the court passed up a challenge to California's 1989 ban; Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, and Massachusetts also have passed bans.
Opponents say such bans use vague definitions of weapons.