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U.S. abortion pill study begins

Researchers are keeping details secret

The first major U.S. trial of the French abortion pill has begun under secrecy. "You may have noticed there are some nuts out there who do bad things to people who deliver abortions," Dr. C.

Wayne Bardin, the council's research director, told a news conference Thursday in New York. The group will not say where the work is being done or how many clinics are participating. More than 100 women have been given the pill since September as part of an $8-million study that could make the drug available by 1996. Bardin said the availability of the pill _ formerly known as RU-486 and now called mifepristone _ won't be advertised.

Prison population tops 1-million

In 1984, the total was less than 500,000

The nation's state and federal prison population has topped 1-million for the first time in history. There were 1,012,851 prisoners at the end of June. The total is more than double the 462,002 prison population of Dec. 31, 1984, according to figures released Thursday by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. California's 124,813 inmates and Texas' 100,136 accounted for more than one-fifth of the total. Florida's inmate population grew 11 percent during the year that ended June 30 _ to 58,052. "About half of the growth . . . in the last decade is linked directly to people entering prisons for drug-law violations," said Allen Beck of the statistics bureau.

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