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News In Brief


It's time for another chapter in the continuing saga of British Prime Minister Tony Blair's transportation woes. When we last looked in on him, in June, his official car veered into an express-bus lane to escape a tieup. Last week, another London traffic jam was delaying his return to No. 10 Downing Street. So Blair, two aides, and his guards descended to the subway and rode six stops to his destination. The prime minister paid the fares himself and, said a spokesman, "enjoyed the experience" although such trips "usually involve a bit more planning."

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Paul McCartney wasn't responsible for the jam-up Blair found himself in, but he might have been. London police, acting on a tip, raced in force to the street where a gang of men was reported to be brandishing guns. They were, however, hired actors, and the only shooting was for the ex-Beatle's next video. But he had to intervene personally before the cops would leave satisfied.

States ranked on technology they provide public schools

A report released last week by Market Data Retrieval of Shelton, Conn., says that while the number of computers in public school classrooms has doubled since 1993 - to 8 million nationwide - many states still lag behind in high technology for students. The study by the Dun & Bradstreet research subsidiary also ranks states and the District of Columbia on student access to computers with Internet access. The top five and bottom five - and the number of students per terminal with Internet access in each:

Top five

1. Delaware 5.8

2. Alaska 6.0

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3. Nebraska 7.2

4. South Dakota 7.3

5. North Dakota 9.1

Bottom five

47. Mississippi 20.1

48. North Carolina 24.9

49. Louisiana 25.0

50. Alabama 30.2

51. District of Columbia 31.4

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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