Boat Carrying 200 Haitians

Runs Aground Near Miami

MIAMI -- More than 200 illegal Haitian immigrants jumped overboard, waded ashore and rushed onto a major highway yesterday after their 50-foot wooden freighter ran aground off Miami as it attempted to evade the Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard had followed the vessel for about two hours and attempted to foul its propellers, Coast Guard officials said. Twenty-one Haitians were rescued from the water by the Coast Guard. Others jumped from the deck and ran into the street, where police were waiting near Hobie Beach on Virginia Key, just southeast of Miami's downtown.

The six-lane Rickenbacker Causeway was closed after the migrants ran onto it.

* SAN FRANCISCO -- Doctors who recommend medical marijuana to sick patients cannot be stripped of their licenses to prescribe drugs even though marijuana is banned by federal law, a federal appeals court ruled. The Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld a lower court ruling that protects the constitutional right of doctors to recommend medical marijuana. The government said the doctors were aiding and abetting criminal activity by recommending marijuana because it is an illegal drug under federal narcotics laws.

* GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A federal judge declared the Agriculture Department's pork-checkoff program "unconstitutional and rotten," ordering an end to the fee on hogs that funds a pork-promotion program best known for touting pork as "the other white meat." Small hog farmers challenged the program, saying much of the money collected from the checkoffs was spent to promote pork raised by large, corporate-owned operations. U.S. District Judge Richard A. Enslen ruled last week that the program violated hog farmers' First Amendment free speech and association rights.

* CHICAGO -- Authorities dropped misdemeanor charges against the daughter of Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) after she apologized for obstructing a police officer. According to police, Ashley Blazer Biden, 21, was with a group of people Aug. 3 outside a number of bars when someone else threw a bottle at a police officer. Police say she blocked an officer trying to investigate.

* OLATHE, Kan. -- John E. Robinson Sr., 58, was convicted of murdering three women and stuffing the bodies of two of them into 85-gallon barrels on his rural property. He could get the death penalty for the slayings of Suzette Trouten, 27, of Newport, Mich., and Izabela Lewicka, 21, a former Purdue University student from West Lafayette, Ind., both of whom were found in barrels. Robinson also was convicted of first-degree murder for the 1985 death of Lisa Stasi, 19, whose body has never been found.

* MOBILE, Ala. -- A plane carrying Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) to a campaign event in Missouri landed in Mobile after pilots reported problems with the landing gear, authorities said. The twin-engine Challenger 600 jet, which took off from Pascagoula, Miss., was rerouted to Alabama after a landing gear malfunction, said Ron Bonjean, Lott's press secretary. Bonjean described the problem as "minor."

-- From News Services