Philadelphia Schools Will

Require African Studies

PHILADELPHIA -- In what could be a first in the United States, the Philadelphia school system will soon require that all high school students take a year of African and African American studies.

Leaders of the school district, where two-thirds of the students are black, hope the course will not only keep those students interested in their academic work but also give others a more accurate view of history.

"We have the opportunity . . . to do something under our watch that is really going to do right by our students, to say, 'We've come from some pretty great places,' " Assistant Superintendent Cecilia Cannon said.

The course, now offered as an elective at 11 of the city's 54 high schools, covers topics including classical African civilizations, civil rights and black nationalism, and teachers say it has captivated students.

Education groups said they did not know of other districts that require black studies, now a high-profile academic field at universities such as Harvard and Cornell.

Grandfather Charged

With Child Pornography

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- A man who took explicit pictures of his 2-year-old granddaughter was arrested on child pornography charges after he printed the pictures at a drugstore and a clerk found the images, police said.

The arrest of Richard Hawes, 63, came after a frantic police investigation. Fearing that the girl was in danger, police finally released nonsexual photos of her.

Relatives saw the pictures Wednesday on national television, and the girl's father then identified her in photos e-mailed by New Hampshire police, leading to Hawes's arrest.

Police said further charges may be filed in Florida, where the girl and her family live. Hawes' son -- the girl's father -- told police Hawes visited them this spring.

* BOSTON -- Gov. Mitt Romney (R) declared a state of emergency because of the red tide bloom off the coast of Massachusetts, a move that allows the state to seek federal disaster aid for the shellfish industry, which is losing about $3 million per week, officials said.

* FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- U.S. authorities said they will allow into the country a Cuban family who tried to make it to the United States on a taxi-turned-boat, pending a successful review of their immigration documents. The decision came after immigration officials determined that Rafael Diaz Rey, wife Nivia Valdes Galves, stepson Pablo Alfonso Valdes, 16, and son David Diaz Valdes, 10, had valid entry documents.

* COMPTON, Calif. -- Thirteen sheriff's deputies will be disciplined for firing about 120 shots at an unarmed driver last month, an incident that sparked outrage in the community and prompted some deputies to apologize. Winston Hayes, 44, was hit by four bullets in the May 9 shooting, which was captured on videotape after a brief pursuit of Hayes's sport-utility vehicle. The vehicle matched the description of one thought to be involved in a previous shooting. It was later determined that Hayes was not involved in that incident.

* PENSACOLA, Fla. -- The Atlantic hurricane season's first named storm, Arlene, headed north toward the Gulf Coast as Florida residents, still recovering from last year's devastation, watched with a wary eye.

-- From News Services