L.A. police actions to be investigated

LOS ANGELES - Police Chief William J. Bratton said yesterday that some police tactics used to clear immigration protesters from MacArthur Park were inappropriate, as news videos showed officers striking people with batons and firing rubber bullets into crowds that included children.

Images showed police hitting a TV cameraman to the ground and shoving people who were walking away from officers at Tuesday's demonstration. Some injured people were seen in the videos, including a Hispanic man with a bleeding welt on his stomach and back.

Bratton promised an investigation, saying: "Quite frankly, I was disturbed at what I saw."

The mayor-appointed Police Commission has opened its own investigation, spokeswoman Tami Catania said.

"This was not a pretty picture," said commission president John Mack. "This incident raises serious concern regarding the use of force by some individual officers." - AP

Train derails; parts of shuttle aboard

MYRTLEWOOD, Ala. - A freight train carrying segments of the space shuttle's solid rocket boosters derailed yesterday after a bridge collapsed, authorities said. Six people aboard the train were reported injured.

NASA said it was not immediately known whether the equipment was damaged. But agency spokesman Allard Beutel said the accident should not delay any shuttle launches.

The cause of the bridge collapse was under investigation.

The boosters are used during liftoff and the first two minutes or so of flight to help the shuttle break free of Earth's orbit. NASA spokesman Kyle Herring said the segments were scheduled for use during missions in October and December.- AP

Former MIT dean does have a degree

BOSTON - The popular MIT admissions dean who resigned last week after officials learned she had lied on her resume about her college education actually earned a diploma from a small Catholic college.

Administrators initially questioned whether Marilee Jones had ever graduated from college after the MIT inquiry determined she had variously claimed degrees from Union College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Albany Medical College, all in New York.

Jones earned a degree in biology in 1973 from the College of Saint Rose in Albany, officials at each school told the Boston Globe. MIT spokeswoman Patti Richards said the revelation did not change the situation. Jones could not be reached yesterday.- AP

Elsewhere:

Up to 1,000 Mexican trucks and buses would be allowed to cross the border and use U.S. roadways for the next three years under a bill endorsed yesterday by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

A bill giving Oregon's same-sex couples the benefits of marriage through domestic partnerships won final legislative approval yesterday. Gov. Ted Kulongoski says he will sign it.

Mailing a flat-rate priority mail box will cost $8.95, regardless of weight, when postal rates change May 14. The Postal Regulatory Commission had recommended an increase to $9.15, from $8.10 now, but agreed to reduce the charge to under $9, the Postal Service said.