- The Washington Times - Friday, October 27, 2000

NASA plans six flights to Mars over 15 years

NASA plans six major robotic missions to Mars in the next 15 years, the U.S. space agency's top science experts said yesterday, but they refused to speculate when humans might go to the Red Planet.
The new plan for exploring Earth's nearest planetary neighbor puts off until at least 2011 a mission to collect samples from Mars' surface and return them to Earth.

NAACP jail registration raises sheriffs' concern

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. Alarming some sheriffs, the NAACP has signed up more than 11,000 new voters in county jails across the Southeast this year.
The group described its campaign yesterday as an historic attempt to preserve the electoral rights of prisoners.
Officials worry the drive could lead to inmates banding together to oust sheriffs and other county officials they don't like.
"They could elect their own commissioner. All they'd have to do is bloc vote in a small county," said Brice Paul of the Alabama Sheriff's Association.
The NAACP this year has registered about 11,400 prisoners to vote in Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida and Tennessee.

New York county bans phone use by drivers

NEW YORK Suburban Suffolk County, N.Y., yesterday became the first county in the nation to make it illegal for drivers to use handheld cell phones.
The county executive signed a law passed by the county legislature earlier this month that bans driving while using a mobile phone without a hands-free microphone device.

Mentor organization bans gay volunteers

OWENSBORO, Ky. Owensboro's chapter of Big Brothers-Big Sisters, which links children with adult mentors, will no longer allow homosexuals to participate in the program.
The board voted 10-9 to bar openly homosexual volunteers after a closed-door meeting Wednesday. Board members had raised concerns about health issues and fear that it would create confusion among children over sexual preference matters.

State court declares tax cut illegal

OLYMPIA, Wash. Washington state voters lost the authority to veto government-imposed tax and fee increases, but got to keep cheap car registration fees after the state Supreme Court declared a voter-approved tax-cut initiative unconstitutional yesterday.
Initiative 695, approved by 56 percent of voters last November, eliminated a progressive tax on cars and replaced it with a $30 flat fee, saving many motorists hundreds of dollars a year. It also required voter approval of any future tax and fee increases.
In an 8-1 decision, the high court ruled that the measure violated the state constitution's "single-subject rule" by dealing with two topics. Requiring a public vote on every tax increase would upset the balance of power between lawmakers and citizens, Justice Barbara Madsen ruled.

Kissinger hospitalized after heart attack

NEW YORK Former secretary of state Henry Kissinger has suffered a "limited" heart attack but is doing well and is expected to recover, hospital officials said yesterday.
Mr. Kissinger, 77, who served as secretary of state under President Nixon and his successor Gerald Ford, was admitted to New York Weill Cornell Medical Center of New York Presbyterian Hospital on Wednesday.

Appeals court rejects visits in embryo mix-up

NEW YORK A state appeals court has denied visitation rights to a white woman who gave birth to a black couple's baby after an embryo mix-up in a fertility clinic.

The New York Appellate Division ruled 5-0 yesterday that the birth of Robert and Deborah Perry Rogers' child to Donna Fasano was a mistake and that the Fasanos had no right to seek visitation with the child.

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