Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

USA

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

USA

Article excerpt

An unmanned Air Force reconnaissance aircraft was apparently shot down by Iraqi air defenses while on a mission near the heavily defended southern city of Basra, Pentagon officials said. But they said all manned US aircraft used for such missions were accounted for. Iraq has occasionally claimed it hit a US or British plane, but Monday's downing was the first to be confirmed. Afterward, US planes attacked an air-defense site in northern Iraq, reportedly killing one person and wounding three others. Iraq has been stepping up efforts to shoot at US and British aircraft patrolling "no-fly" zones.

Despite pleas from black civil-rights activists, Secretary of State Powell likely will not attend a UN conference on racism because of Arab-backed proposals accusing Israel of such practices against Palestinians, a White House official said. The conference starts Friday in Durban, South Africa. It was not clear whether the administration would be represented at a lower level, although President Bush has said he won't send anyone if delegates plan to "pick on Israel." Israel calls its conflict with Palestinians a political rather than racial dispute.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) identified 64 human embryonic stem-cell lines at laboratories worldwide that meet Bush's criteria for federally funded research. NIH said the self- replicating stem-cell colonies are derived from "genetically diverse" embryos. Stem cells are precursors to all human cell types, and scientists hope to create a range of cells used to treat diseases. Producing them requires the death of embryos. In a controversial move earlier this month, Bush limited funding for research only on embryos that have already been destroyed.

The number of adults in prison, on parole, or on probation reached a record 6.47 million last year - or 1 in 32 US adults, the Justice Department reported. …

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