Nation digest 10/15

Monday, October 15, 2001

School bus swerved to miss second bus

OMAHA, Neb. -- A school bus that crashed while returning from a high school band competition, killing three people and injuring more than 30, had veered off the road to avoid a swerving tour bus, students on board told police.

The driver of the tour bus denied swerving. Drivers of other buses part of a convoy also said the tour bus had not swerved.

People on the tour bus may not have known there was an accident, the sheriff said.

Police planned to re-interview the tour bus driver.

The school bus crashed through a guard rail and plunged 60 feet into a creek on Saturday, killing Benjamin Prescott and Ian Koehler, both 14, and Tracy Kohlmeier, 40, the mother of another band member.

Green's margin shrinks in New York mayor bid

NEW YORK -- Mark Green's victory margin over Fernando Ferrer in the Democratic mayoral runoff shrank as an examination of unofficial returns showed thousands of votes were mistakenly entered more than once. An election official said the outcome was unlikely to change.

"There's no realistic doubt about the outcome," Election Commissioner Douglas Kellner, a Manhattan Democrat, said Sunday.

Returns after last Thursday's election had shown Green, the city's public advocate, with 417,329 votes to 387,523 for Ferrer, the Bronx borough president.

By mid-afternoon Sunday, revised results showed 401,428 votes for Green and 380,784 for Ferrer, a margin of about 20,600 votes. The number of votes cast had shrunk from about 805,000 to about 782,000.

The winner faces Republican Michael Bloomberg in November.

Tests suggest baboons share human traits

Baboons in laboratory experiments showed hints of abstract thinking by picking out various images on a computer screen, a surprising finding that raises new questions about evolution and what distinguishes humans from the rest of the animal kingdom.

Scientists in France and the United States cautioned that only two baboons participated in the comparative tests, and those monkeys were veterans of earlier cognitive experiments.

Even so, researchers said, the results suggest baboons are capable of analogical judgment -- the kind of "this-is-to-that" comparisons that psychologists say is fundamental to reasoning.

-- From wire reports

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