American Scene

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Their lawsuit calls for an end to the policy, which they said is discriminatory, and asks for an order barring similar policies at other schools.

LOUISIANA

Science, religion debates resume

BATON ROUGE - Arguments over science and religion have resumed at the state Capitol with a House panel approving a bill to let public school teachers offer alternatives to evolutionary theory and a Senate committee voting to ban government funding for what is often called “therapeutic cloning.”

Proponents say the bill approved yesterday by the House Education Committee would promote “critical analysis” of scientific issues including cloning, evolution and global warming. Opponents say it is an attempt to inject religion into science classes.

The other bill, approved by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, would outlaw government funding for therapeutic cloning - the asexual creation of an early stage human embryo for the harvesting of stem cells that scientists hope could be used to cure disease.

Opponents say the process destroys human life.

MINNESOTA

Money woes linked to bridge collapse

ST. PAUL - Money worries may have led to bad maintenance decisions for the Minneapolis bridge that collapsed and killed 13 people in August, a report released yesterday concluded.

The report, conducted for the state Legislature by a private law firm, highlighted a number of bureaucratic tangles at the Minnesota Department of Transportation, which was responsible for upkeep of the 40-year-old bridge.

But the key finding was on the money issue.

“Financial considerations, we believe, did play a part in the decision making” on bridge maintenance, Robert Stein, one of the attorneys, told lawmakers during a briefing. “Sometimes it’s easier just to take the least-expensive alternative or just commission another study.”

NORTH CAROLINA

Genetic ‘editing’ may cause lupus

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