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Computers running on space station

HOUSTON — Two Russian cosmonauts began to get crucial computers up and running yesterday, four days after they crashed at the International Space Station, limiting the outpost’s ability to orient itself and produce oxygen.

Cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov bypassed a power switch with a cable to get two out of three computer connections running, said Lynette Madison, a NASA spokeswoman in Houston.

The space station needs only one connection running in order to operate computers that control orientation and oxygen production. The cosmonauts planned to watch the computers for the next several hours to make sure they were functioning properly.

Bill requires agencies to honor servicemen

Legislation passed by Congress would require all federal agencies in a state to comply with a governor’s request that they fly their flags at half-staff to honor a fallen service member.

The bill, which now goes to President Bush for his signature, was crafted by Rep. Bart Stupak, Michigan Democrat, who was upset by what he said was the “inconsistent, patchwork display of respect” in his state toward troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The House passed the bill in May and the Senate approved it late Thursday on a voice vote.

Meth used more than previously thought

U.S. users of crystal methamphetamine tend to be young, poor, white men often with an incarcerated father, according to a study suggesting that its use may be more common than previously estimated.

The findings, published yesterday in the journal Addiction, were based on interviews with 14,322 persons ages 18 to 26 in 2001 and 2002. The study found that 2.8 percent of those surveyed said they used the drug in the past year, and 1.3 percent used it in the past month.

The study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

State records stolen in Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A disk containing the Social Security numbers and other personal information on all 64,000 Ohio state employees was stolen from a state worker’s car last weekend, Gov. Ted Strickland said yesterday.

Mr. Strickland said it takes special equipment to access the information on the disk, so he doesn’t think the workers’ privacy is in jeopardy.

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