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Governor: "Evolution' belongs in Ga. texts

Gov. Sonny Perdue said Saturday the word "evolution" should stay in science textbooks used by Georgia students, his first effort to quell a firestorm of controversy swirling around a volatile blend of religion and science.

"If you're going to teach evolution, you ought to call it evolution," the Republican governor said during an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "By that I mean, there ought to be a balance. Evolution, as I understand it, is an academic theory. I think it should be taught as an academic theory."

The governor sought to end a dispute surrounding last week's proposal by state School Superintendent Kathy Cox to replace the word "evolution" with "biological changes over time," a phrase that scientists describe as meaningless.

Grocery clerks march in 4-month-old strike

INGLEWOOD, Calif. _ Thousands of Southern California grocery clerks, many struggling under the financial strain of a nearly four-month-long supermarket strike, rallied with supporters from other unions Saturday to urge owners of Albertsons Inc., Kroger Co. and Safeway Inc. to return to the bargaining table.

Police in riot gear lined the sidewalk as protesters marched, chanting "The mighty, mighty union!" before a rally outside a Vons supermarket in Inglewood, near Los Angeles. Police estimated the crowd at about 14,000.

New York settles suit by girls who played hooky

NEW YORK - Five girls who were forced to take tests for sexually transmitted diseases last year after skipping school to attend a "hooky party" have agreed to drop their federal lawsuit against New York City and school officials.

In exchange, the city has agreed to change its policy concerning the medical testing of students and to pay the girls an undisclosed amount of money.

The five girls were students at Intermediate School 164 last April when word of the party got back to school officials.

Ariz. prison hostage still held after two weeks

BUCKEYE, Ariz. _ A female corrections officer held hostage since Jan. 18 in a prison guard tower appeared to be "doing okay," a prison official said Saturday.

Negotiators heard the captive guard's voice during a telephone check Friday, and doctors who listened in said her voice was strong.

The standoff at the 4,400-inmate prison west of Phoenix began Jan. 18 when an inmate attacked two guards and another worker in a kitchen area.

Also . . .

NEW YORK SETTLES WITH HISPANIC POLICE OFFICERS: The city has agreed to pay $26.8-million to settle a federal class-action lawsuit by Hispanic officers who allege that minorities faced discrimination. About 12,000 black and Hispanic members of the police department could be eligible for damages ranging from $3,500 to $400,000.