Nation briefs 11/14/03

Friday, November 14, 2003

High schoolers smoking less, not middle schoolers

ATLANTA -- Smoking among U.S. high school students has declined by nearly one-fifth since 2000 but has not budged among middle-schoolers, according to a study released Thursday.

Nearly one out of four high school students, 23 percent, said they had smoked tobacco in the preceding month -- a drop from 28 percent the last time the survey was conducted, two years earlier.

About 13 percent of middle school students said they had smoked, about the same as in the previous survey.

The spring 2002 survey questioned 26,119 students at 246 schools.

Congressional bargainers push for Nixon library

WASHINGTON -- House-Senate bargainers agreed Wednesday to let the government take the first steps toward establishing a formal Richard Nixon presidential library.

Until now, the late President Nixon has been the only president without his own federal library since the National Archives presidential library system began with President Hoover's library in Iowa.

The Nixon library currently operating in Yorba Linda, Calif., is a private one.

Nixon's presidential papers and tapes were seized by the government when he left office in 1974 following the Watergate scandal, and have been kept by the National Archives in College Park, Md. At the time, Congress mandated that the papers and tapes remain in the Washington, D.C., area.

TV producer launches voter registration drive

WASHINGTON -- The man who brought Archie Bunker into America's living rooms launched a major new drive Thursday -- with the help of some Hollywood celebrities -- to get young people into the voting booth.

Television producer Norman Lear said the campaign, called Declare Yourself, will use entertainment, education and the Internet to inspire Americans ages 18 to 29 to register and vote. Despite his liberal reputation, Lear said the voter drive is nonpartisan.

"If you get a youngster to vote at 18, the chances are much greater that that individual will be a lifetime voter," Lear said. "So there will be every effort to make turning 18 a rite of passage."

-- From wire reports

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