The US Supreme Court heard arguments in a case claiming that the
Endangered Species Act does not protect the habitats of endangered
species. An appeals court ruled that the law protects activities
such as hunting and trapping, but not indirect threats such as
habitat destruction.The high court left intact a $420,000 award won
against the Duquesne Light Co. in Pittsburgh by a white man who
says he was denied promotion because of his race. It refused to
reinstate an affirmative-action plan for promoting black fire
fighters in Birmingham, Ala. The court agreed to clarify a federal
law that adds five years to the prison sentence of anyone who "uses
or carries" a gun while engaged in drug trafficking. It also
allowed a Secret Service Agent to be sued for damages for inviting
a CBS TV crew on a raid so it could videotape a search of a private
Henry Foster's nomination for surgeon general is not "viable"
and may not even get out of committee, Senator Dole said. Hearings
before the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee are scheduled
to begin May 2. Dole, meanwhile, has flown 187 times since 1993
aboard private jets, most owned by corporations with interest in
congressional business, Newsweek magazine reported.
The federal government is to begin scouring state motor-vehicle
records for drivers with phony Social Security numbers. Illegal
aliens, fugitives from justice, and deadbeat parents often give
false social security numbers to get a drivers license and a new
identity. Critics of the program say the data could be used to
Most states are not moving enough unemployed welfare parents
into jobs or training to comply with federal laws, the Department
of Health and Human Services said. With only 10 states in
compliance, experts worry the move to put welfare in the hands of
the states is not a good idea.
Women are not as politically active as men because they have
less money and are less likely to possess needed communication and
organizational skills, says a study by the University of Michigan,
Boston College, and Harvard University. More than 2,500 people took
part in the study.
House Speaker Gingrich would like to make Washington D.C., a
Maryland congressional district and give city residents full
representation in Congress, the Washington Times reported. The GOP
has opposed proposals to make the capital a state.
Michael Huffington, who lost a $28 million bid for the Senate,
has set his sights on the 1998 California governor's race, the Los
Angeles Times reported. Huffington said he would not use his own
money for the state race.
The US has become the most economically stratified of all the
industrial nations, according to new and mostly unpublished
statistical research, the New York Times reported. In 1989, the
wealthiest 1 percent of US households, worth $2.3 million each,
owned nearly 40 percent of the nation's wealth. The richest 1
percent in Britain own about 18 percent of the wealth.
Indian tribes and state lawmakers are heading for a gambling
showdown in Connecticut. In return for exclusive rights to operate
casinos, the tribes pay the state a share of slot-machine takes.
Now the state assembly is considering allowing non-Indian casinos,
and the Pequots, who operate the successful Foxwoods casino, might
stop payments to the state.
Five people were sentenced in Seattle for smuggling at least
1,000 illegal aliens into the US from India and Pakistan. Four of
those sentenced are not citizens and face deportation hearings
after serving their time.
The militant Islamic group Hamas is likely to carry out
retaliatory attacks after an Israeli ambush killed three of its
activists Sunday, the army commander of the West Bank said.
Security has been heightened since the ambush, and the Palestinian
Authority has condemned the killings. Israeli forces said the
Palestinians who were slain were on their way to attack Israelis. …