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Ruling on students disappoints Bush

President Bush on Monday expressed dismay at Beijing's reported decision to require Chinese students to work five years in that country before being permitted to study abroad. "I saw the statement (on foreign study policy) ... I thought that was counterproductive, very much so," Bush told a questioner at a news conference. Although the regulations have not been announced formally, a Chinese state education official confirmed their existence Saturday. Diplomats in Beijing said the restrictions were aimed at stopping an exodus of talent, and as a reply to the United States and other Western countries that had extended the visas of Chinese exchange students who say they fear persecution on returning to China. A new breed of school volunteers

School volunteers who traditionally have been mothers who raise money at bake sales and fathers who coach Little League now include business executives and retirees who do everything from tutoring to counseling, a study said Monday. However, the National Research Council study mandated by Congress and financed by the Education Department found that public schools with high minority enrollment use few, if any, volunteers. "The role of school volunteers is absolutely essential to achieving our goals in education," which focus heavily on at-risk children and minorities, Education Secretary Lauro Cavazos said in releasing the study.

President praises Boys Scouts

President Bush praised the Boy Scouts on Monday for teaching "lessons that last a lifetime" at a White House ceremony honoring scouting's 80th anniversary. Bush was presented the National Boy Scouts Organization's highest award, the Silver Buffalo medallion - a miniature buffalo on a red, white and blue ribbon - and wore it around his neck during his brief remarks.

Hearing on USAir crash opens today

Issues ranging from rudder control designs to the effects of airline mergers on safety are expected to come up in a hearing opening today into last fall's crash in New York of USAir Flight 5050. National Transportation Safety Board Chairman James L. Kolstad, who will conduct the four-day hearing in New York, said crew members, airline officials, Federal Aviation Administration experts and representatives of the Boeing Co. are expected to testify. Two people were killed and 61 others were saved after the Boeing 737 airliner skidded off the end of a LaGuardia Airport runway and into the East River, breaking into pieces in an aborted takeoff.

Overturn civil rights limits, Bar urges

LOS ANGELES - The American Bar Association urged Congress on Monday to overturn five U.S. Supreme Court rulings last year that limited the scope of federal civil rights laws. The lawyers' organization, meeting here, threw its weight behind legislation introduced last week by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., that would rewrite the law to nullify the high court's decisions. The bill would permit employees who are victims of racial harassment to win damages from their employers and would also force businesses to justify as necessary any hiring or promotion policy that tended to exclude minorities or women. The ABA vote in favor of the new civil rights initiative came despite pleas from business lawyers and a top official of the Bush administration to delay action.

Bar officials say that they plan to lobby on behalf of the new civil rights legislation when the Senate begins hearings on the bill later this month.