- The Washington Times - Monday, October 9, 2000

Blackout hits downtown Chicago

CHICAGO A fire at an electrical substation knocked out power to the downtown for several hours yesterday, tangling traffic, stranding shoppers and sports fans and raising new questions about the reliability of Commonwealth Edison.

Police on foot tried to direct pedestrians and motorists through a maze of darkened traffic signals. In some areas, motorists drove up on sidewalks to reach side streets in an effort to escape the mess.

The Chicago Transit Authority shut down its subway and elevated trains because there was no power for its signal system, but the trains were able to reach stations first so no passengers were trapped. Fire officials said several people were rescued from stalled elevators.

Cow to give birth to cloned ox

A cow in Iowa is preparing to give birth to a clone of an endangered wild ox native to Asia, according to Scientific American and the journal Cloning.

"Noah," a cloned gaur, is expected to come into the world in late November, becoming the first clone of an endangered species, researchers say.

Scientists estimate that only about 36,000 of the 1-ton animals remain in the wild, as a result of being hunted by humans and degradation of their native habitat forests, bamboo jungles and grasslands in India and Southeast Asia.

If the experiment in Iowa proves successful, it could usher in a new era in which cloning is used to save animals from extinction. "Plans are under way to clone the African bongo antelope, the Sumatran tiger and that favorite of zoo lovers, the reluctant-to-reproduce giant panda," researchers said.

Protesters view statue as Klan memorial

SELMA, Ala. An atonal mix of "We Shall Overcome" and "Dixie" rang out here over the weekend as two sides argued over a memorial to a Civil War hero and Ku Klux Klan leader.

A dozen demonstrators Saturday protested the display of a statue of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, saying the monument should not have been erected in a mostly black neighborhood in this landmark city of the civil rights struggle.

Gen. Forrest, who led Confederate forces defending Selma in 1865, was also an early leader of the white supremacist group.

Montgomery historian Bill Rambo said Gen. Forrest should be remembered more for his military prowess than for his Klan membership.

Labor strikes mount in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES Los Angeles residents face mounting work stoppages by public employees this week, with little hope seen for settling a bitter transit strike and a continuation of one-day job actions expected from county service employees.

The Service Employees International Union, which represents some 47,000 county workers such as nurses and clerks, began the series of one-day actions last week. It vowed to call a general strike by Wednesday if its contract talks with county officials did not resume, according to published reports.

Union officials confirmed that the two sides were meeting yesterday but could not provide details on the talks' progress.

NASA clears Discovery for launch tonight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. After an intense weekend of repairs and reviews, NASA cleared space shuttle Discovery for liftoff tonight on a space station construction mission.

But gusty winds threatened to push the launch later into the week.

Meteorologist John Weems said there was a 70 percent chance that a stiff crosswind would prevent Discovery from taking off on NASA's 100th space shuttle mission, not only today but tomorrow, too.

"It really depends upon the wind direction," Mr. Weems said yesterday.

Discovery was supposed to depart for the international space station Thursday, but was grounded by concerns over bolts on the external fuel tank. In addition, a sluggish valve in the shuttle's engine compartment had to be replaced.

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