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Endowment drops pledge requirement

The National Endowment for the Arts quietly dropped on Monday a controversial requirement that grant recipients sign a non-obscenity pledge, now that Congress has voted to scrap explicit restrictions on the kinds of art eligible for subsidies. The pledge, instituted by chairman John Frohnmayer last year, has spawned three lawsuits challenging its constitutionality. At least 16 artists and arts institutions refused to sign the pledge and forfeited more than $318,000 in endowment grants.Alert issued

on toy bracelet

A popular toy known as the "slap-wrist" bracelet may cause hand and wrist injuries to children, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Monday. The bracelet is a thin metal strip covered by fabric or paper that wraps into a bracelet when the wrist is struck with it. The panel said it fears the covering may tear over time, exposing a sharp metal edge. The panel said parents should alert children to the possibility and examine the toys frequently, discarding them if a tear occurs.

Jackson blasts veto of civil rights bill

The Rev. Jesse Jackson led a protest Monday in front of the White House, accusing President Bush of using his veto of major civil rights legislation to divide working Americans. Jackson said Bush's claim that the legislation would have led to racial hiring quotas was "a race bait to divert attention" from the bill's economic ramifications.

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