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About 500 FBI employees with access to confidential data were to begin taking lie-detector tests today, the agency said. Workers - from assistant directors to clerks - will face reassignment if they refuse. The expanded security policy follows charges that agent Robert Hanssen spied for Russia while working in counterintelligence jobs. Hanssen never took a polygraph. Director Louis Freeh also requested reviews of "sensitive" cases to determine whether agents have viewed or tried to view information outside their normal duties.

Authorities believe a vice principal was the target of a student who fired several shots at Granite Hills High School in El Cajon, Calif., late last week. Jason Hoffman wounded four people before he was shot by a campus police officer. No one was killed. It was the second school shooting in a month in the district, which also includes Santana High School. A freshman there killed two students March 5. Officials didn't say why the vice principal, who escaped unhurt, was targeted. Hoffman will be charged with attempted murder and assault.

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Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove (D) signed a law mandating all public schools display "In God We Trust" in classrooms, cafeterias, and auditoriums. The American Civil Liberties Union has threatened to sue on grounds that requiring a reference to God in classrooms violates the constitutional guarantee of separation of church and state. Supporters say the slogan will withstand a court battle because it is the US motto and appears on money. Maryland has rejected a similar requirement.

President Bush signaled support for a Senate plan to accelerate tax relief with a $60 billion reduction this year, retroactive to Jan. 1. Democrats and Republicans both support immediate tax relief to help stem a sliding economy, but they disagree on whether to pass cuts for 2001 as a stand-alone bill or attach them to Bush's 10-year, $1.6 trillion plan. Bush also said he had not ruled out including a "trigger mechanism" in his plan to rein in future tax cuts if the budget surplus does not materialize.

Bush ended the liberal-leaning American Bar Association's preferential, half-century role in vetting prospective nominees to the federal bench. In a letter to the ABA, White House counsel Al Gonzales said granting a single group such a "preferential role" in the process would be "unfair to others with a strong interest in judicial selection." Bush won't seek a substitute for the ABA.

The record number of people in federal prisons and jails increased to almost 1.9 million last June and will surpass 2 million late this year, the Justice Department reported. The department said the number went up by 3 percent over a 12-month period that ended June 30. Incarcerations rose sharply in the 1990s but have slowed in recent years, it said.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor