Of Human Interest: News lite

By ELLEN BECK, United Press International   |   Dec. 2, 2002 at 4:30 AM
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Legislation to be introduced this week formally will unveil a new "master plan" for California's massive education system.

One of the more controversial proposals requires all public schools students to learn a language other than English starting in kindergarten.

Educators say the idea would better prepare students of all ethnic groups for employment in a state heavily populated by residents who speak Spanish and home to large immigrant groups that speak various Asian dialects as well as Russian and the Arabic languages.

Critics told the Sacramento Bee they doubted the money and the necessary numbers of bilingual teachers could be found to instruct the state's 6 million students in a second language, and that course work in subjects such as math and science would have to be sacrificed.

(Thanks to UPI's Hil Anderson)


There are few patients using medical marijuana and few doctors prescribing the controversial treatment in three of four states that have such laws on the books, the General Accounting Office says.

A GAO report says the total number of patients using marijuana to relieve pain and several other physical symptoms in Alaska, Hawaii and Oregon was less than 2,500.

Only 1 percent to 3 percent of physicians in Oregon and Hawaii -- the two states where such records are kept -- admitted to recommending pot to their patients.

"A relatively small number of people are registered as medical marijuana users in Oregon, Hawaii, and Alaska," said the report. "In those states, most registrants were over 40 years old. Severe pain and muscle spasms were the most common medical conditions for which marijuana was recommended."


The Florida Times-Union reports brothers Maurice and William Goldstein have practiced law together for 50 years and, since they've done everything in their lives together, they also will now retire together.

"I don't want to stop practicing, but none of my clients are alive anymore," Maurice, 91, deadpans.

The paper says Mauruice began practicing in 1935 and specialized in civil law. William, 79, started in 1949 and also focused on handling civil cases.

The brothers were both born and raised in Jacksonville, Fla., attended Robert E. Lee High School and the University of Florida. Both served in the military overseas during World War II. Both have large families, with children and grandchildren in Jacksonville they are looking forward to visiting more.


It was 60 years ago today, at the University of Chicago, that a group of scientists led by physicist Enrico Fermi succeeded in producing the first controlled, self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.

The U.S. Census Bureau says this first simple reactor was built in great secrecy under the stands of the university's football stadium.

It helped provide the knowledge that led to the development of the atomic bomb less than three years later, ending World War II.

Today, reactors power most U.S. aircraft carriers and submarines and there are just more than 100 nuclear power plants operating across the country, generating about one-fifth of the nation's electricity.

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