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News In Brief

THERE MUST BE SOME MISTAKE Pssst: Are you spying on the US for a foreign government? Sensitive details regarding President Clinton's scheduled visit to New Zealand this weekend are known to be circulating. Why, even a chicken processing plant in Auckland is on the distribution list, although no one has a clue why. For weeks, the plant has been receiving faxes from US security officials, despite pleas that they stop. "If this fell into the wrong hands," said owner Saji Philips, "who knows what could happen; it's really frightening." An American embassy spokesman in Wellington, the capital, said only, "We're looking into the situation."

A TOKEN OF APPRECIATION What is a new computer worth? For Michelle Petras: her honesty. The young Chandler, Ariz., resident found $2,300 in cash on the ground near her family's house trailer. She realized it would buy the system she wanted, but also that it must belong to a neighbor. It did, and she returned it. But the city's police and the CompUSA chain were so impressed with her deed that they teamed up to provide the system as a reward.

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Immigration is major factor in rising US poverty figures For US-born Americans, the poverty rate - defined as an income of $16,400 a year for a family of four - has remained at a fairly constant 12 percent since 1979. Poverty, however, is essentially being "imported," according to a report by the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies. It says immigrant-related poverty rose by 75 percent - or 3 million people - between 1989 and 1997. The following countries sent the highest percentages of poor immigrants to the US during the years of the study:

1. Dominican Republic 40.5%

2. Mexico 33.3%

3. Guatemala 29.4%

4. Haiti 28.6%

5. El Salvador 25.3%

6. Cuba 22.0%

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7. Former USSR 18.9%

8. Colombia 15.9%

9. Vietnam 15.8%

10. South Korea 14.5%

Compiled by Robert Kilborn and Lance Carden

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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