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Archive for Sunday, November 5, 2000

Nation Briefs

November 5, 2000

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California

Train derailment turns fatal

An Amtrak train carrying 88 people derailed Saturday after hitting a truck, killing one person and injuring at least 30 others, a fire department spokeswoman said.

Three of the five passenger cars derailed in the crash, said Ventura County Fire Department spokeswoman Sandi Wells. The truck, filled with wood chips, was cut in half and its bright orange trailer thrown several yards.

The 28-year-old truck driver was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger in the truck was hospitalized in critical condition with severe head injuries, according to a spokeswoman at Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks.




WASHINGTON, D.C.

AT&T probed for 'slamming'

Federal authorities are investigating the nation's largest long-distance company, AT&T Corp., for allegedly acquiring thousands of new customers from rivals by switching their phone service without their consent a tactic known as "slamming."

The probe was confirmed to the Los Angeles Times by a government source and a telephone industry executive. It marks the third examination by the Federal Communications Commission of a major phone carrier this year for unauthorized switching of phone users' long-distance plans. It highlights the FCC's aggressive, but so far uphill, battle to curb an illegal industry practice that triggers more than 20,000 consumer complaints annually.




California

Newspaper pulls Sunday supplement

The San Jose Mercury News pulled its magazine from today's newspapers because an anti-GOP cover story scheduled to run just two days before the general election raised concerns about fairness, editors said.

Mercury News executive editor David Yarnold sent a memo to staffers Friday explaining that today's issue of the newspaper's SV (Silicon Valley) magazine lacked balance and that the decision to yank it was "unfortunate" and "embarrassing."

The cover story of the magazine was a personal essay by Mercury News reporter and lifelong Democrat David Early. In his essay, he wondered how anyone he liked or admired could be a Republican.

The Mercury News enlisted employees from all departments Friday to remove 200,000 copies of the magazine that had already been inserted into Sunday editions.

Yarnold said the lack of an opposing point of view in the edition didn't meet Mercury News standards.

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