Dispatches > The Buzz
- Arrests of illegal immigrants dropped 22 percent along the Mexico-U.S. border from October to January. That's the largest percentage drop since the U.S. Border Patrol beefed up its presence in 1993. Experts say Mexicans are more hopeful about their future in Mexico, with a growing economy and the first opposition president in seven decades.
- Ready for yet another postal rate hike? The U.S. Postal Service, facing massive losses, is planning to raise prices again as early as next year. Even though the price of first-class stamps rose to 34 cents last month, the federal monopoly faces losses of up to $2 billion this year.
- Cell phone users are no more likely than anyone else to suffer from cancer. That's the word from a study of 420,000 Danish cell phone users, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Federal health officials insist there is no evidence that the cell phones used by 97 million Americans cause cancer, yet no agency gives the popular gadgets a definitively clean bill of health.
- Washington County, Penn., Judge Ronald Amati faces up to 15 years in prison after being convicted of three charges involving running an illegal video-poker operation and tipping off machine operators about search warrants he signed. Prosecutors say Mr. Amati received $10,000 in payoffs from video-gambling machines at a coffee shop.
- Your eyes weren't fooling you: TV is getting raunchier. Sexual content on the tube has risen sharply since 1997, according to a study released last week, showing up in two of every three programs last season. Research conducted for the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation found that talk about sex and/or depictions of flirting, kissing, intimate touching, and intercourse showed up in 68 percent of the 1999-2000 shows studied, compared with 56 percent in 1997-1998. Only one of 10 programs emphasized sexual risks and responsibilities.
- University professor and American Bruce Morrison was stabbed to death by someone police called a "known schizophrenic" in central China. Mr. Morrison, a 37-year-old native of Louisiana, was at a church youth-group meeting in Wuhan when he was attacked on Feb. 3. He died after being taken to a Wuhan hospital. He taught at Hubei Institute of Technology.