Execution Landmark Is Near

The United States is virtually certain this week to have its 1,000th execution since 1977, with two inmates scheduled to die tomorrow by injection in North Carolina and South Carolina, where they are unlikely to be granted clemency, experts said yesterday.

Death-penalty experts said North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley (D) is unlikely to spare Kenneth Lee Boyd, who is to die at 2 a.m. for killing his estranged wife and her father in 1988 in front of his children.

A spokesman for South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) said the governor's legal team is not going to recommend clemency for Shawn Paul Humphries, convicted of killing a convenience store owner in a robbery. Humphries is to die at 6 p.m.

If they proceed, the executions will be the 1,000th and 1,001st since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty almost 30 years ago.

Survey: Most Teens Volunteer

About 55 percent of teenagers do volunteer work, first lady Laura Bush said. She urged adults to follow suit.

She announced the results of a survey finding that an estimated 15.5 million youths -- or 55 percent of people 12 to 18 -- participate in volunteer activities. That is nearly twice the adult rate of 29 percent.

The survey was taken this year by the Corporation for National and Community Service in collaboration with the Census Bureau and Independent Sector, a coalition of 700 organizations and foundations. The telephone survey of about 3,200 youths found that 39 percent of volunteers do so regularly, meaning at least 12 weeks a year.

USDA to Promote Food Aid

The Agriculture Department said it will give at least $1 million in grants to community and faith-based organizations to help poor families apply for federal food stamps.

The USDA said the grants will be used to inform the poor, immigrants and the elderly about the benefits of food stamps and show them how to apply.

Food stamps are the major vehicle used by the U.S. government to help poor Americans buy groceries. The program serves more than 25 million people each month, or about 56 percent of those who are eligible, according to the USDA.

Earlier this month, the House voted to cut $700 million from the food stamp program, despite objections from advocates that about 235,000 people would lose benefits.

Civil Rights Milestone Marked

An exhibit celebrating Rosa Parks's defiance of racial injustice has some good company at the National Archives, sharing the scene with original copies of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

The exhibit, "Mother of Civil Rights," marks the 50th anniversary of the day Parks defied Jim Crow law in Montgomery, Ala., by refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man on Dec. 1, 1955. Her action triggered a 381-day boycott of the city bus system.

Parks died on Oct. 24. The exhibit is on display through Dec. 15.

-- From News Services