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California now most generous to students

California on Monday enacted the most generous college financial aid plan in the nation, guaranteeing needy high school students with good grades that it will pay their full tuition at the state's public colleges and universities, or offer close to $10,000 a year toward tuition at one of the state's private institutions. The plan will cost the state more than $1-billion a year.

The proposal passed both houses of the state Legislature unanimously last month, and in signing it Monday on the Los Angeles campus of California State University, Gov. Gray Davis pronounced it "a historic day for higher education."

U.S. to appeal plan to let Puerto Rico vote Nov. 7

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico _ The U.S. Justice Department said Monday that it will appeal a court ruling that would allow Puerto Ricans to vote for president, a decision that could add 2.4-million voters to the November elections.

The case threatens to upset the relationship between the United States and the commonwealth, whose 3.9-million residents are U.S. citizens but cannot vote for president and have only a non-voting delegate in Congress.

Attorneys have appealed the Aug. 29 U.S. District Court ruling, moving the battle to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston. The appeal of U.S. District Judge Jaime Pieras' ruling came even as Puerto Rican elections officials began preparing ballots for the Nov. 7 vote.

In science . . .

PRIMATE PRONOUNCED EXTINCT: For the first time in several centuries, a member of the primate order, the taxonomic group to which human beings belong, has become extinct, scientists say.

The vanished primate, Waldron's red colobus, was not nearly as charismatic as, say, a chimpanzee or orangutan. Indeed, debate has not yet ended on whether the loud-mouthed, red-cheeked monkey from the rain forest canopy of Ghana and the Ivory Coast deserved full status as a species in its own right.

But now that debate is moot, a team of primate experts reports in a paper in the September issue of the peer-reviewed journal Conservation Biology.

Biologists say this is just the beginning of a growing stream of extinctions of West African primates and other wildlife.

AIDS THEORY UNSUPPORTED: Tests have failed to support a theory that the worldwide AIDS epidemic was touched off because an experimental oral polio vaccine used in Africa more than 40 years ago was made from chimpanzee tissue, scientists reported Monday in London.

The tests do not conclusively disprove the possibility, however, because other vaccines for which samples were not kept could still have been made from chimpanzee cells. The tests leave unsolved the mystery of the origins of AIDS.

Also . . .

TAKEOFF HALTED: A TWA jetliner aborted takeoff and skidded to a halt at New York's Kennedy Airport on Monday after the pilot noticed wind rushing into the cockpit. The Boeing 767, bound for St. Louis with 233 people aboard, blew six of its 10 tires as it came to a halt on the runway. No injuries were reported.

PRISON OFFICIALS UNAMUSED: Last month, former Providence, R.I., tax collector Anthony Annarino emerged from his sentencing in a corruption case joking that he planned to work on his golf game behind bars.

But on Monday, Annarino started his 2{-year sentence at a medium-security prison instead of the minimum-security one he expected. "It was a slap at the system that the Bureau of Prisons did not take lightly," said U.S. Marshal John Leyden.

EX-CON CLAIMS JACKPOT: A former Texas insurance commissioner who went to prison in the 1970s for a pension fund scam that rocked state government stepped forward Monday to claim a $60-million state lottery jackpot. John Osorio is now his late 70s. His ticket must still be validated.

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