All Those Snow Days

* It may be time to start singing, "Snow, snow go away. We don't want school on a summer day."

Many schools already have used up all the snow days built into the schedule. So, more snow might mean more school at the end of the year.

Montgomery County, which canceled school yesterday, has used up all four of its snow days. Prince George's County, which also canceled classes, has just one snow day left. The District of Columbia, which started classes two hours late, also has one day left.

Students in Fairfax and Arlington counties already have to make up snow days.

Laws in Maryland and Virginia require that students be in school 180 days.

Hospital Ship Sets Sail

* A giant floating hospital pulled out of port in Baltimore yesterday on a mission that might have it caring for those wounded if the United States goes to war with Iraq.

The USNS Comfort used to be a supertanker but has been painted white with huge red crosses to identify it as a hospital ship. It has 1,000 beds, 12 operating rooms and has the technology to stop internal bleeding without surgery.

It is going to the Indian Ocean with a crew of about 300. Most of those people are from the naval hospital in Bethesda. An additional 900 doctors, nurses and technicians can be flown in on helicopters that land on the ship.

The Comfort's departure came on the same day that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein claimed that weapons inspectors from the United Nations are really spies. The United Nations said its inspectors are looking only for weapons that Iraq is not supposed to have.

-- From staff and wire reports

The USNS Comfort passes Baltimore's Key Bridge.