Self-searching survey surprise

NEW YORK - More Americans are Googling themselves - and many are checking out their friends, coworkers and romantic interests, too.

In a report yesterday, the Pew Internet and American Life Project said 47 percent of U.S. adult Internet users have looked for information about themselves through Google or another search engine.

That is more than twice the 22 percent of users who did in 2002, but Pew senior research specialist Mary Madden was surprised the growth wasn't higher. "Yes it's doubled, but it's still the case that there's a big chunk of Internet users who have never done this simple act of plugging their name with search engines," she said.

- AP

Lawmaker vows CIA tapes probe

WASHINGTON - The top Republican on the House intelligence committee vowed yesterday to press ahead with a congressional probe of the CIA's destruction of interrogation videotapes despite the objections of the Justice Department.

Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan said Congress would call witnesses and demand documents in probing the CIA's decision to destroy videotapes of the interrogations of two suspected al-Qaeda operatives.

"We want to hold the [intelligence] community accountable for what's happened with these tapes," Hoekstra said. "I think we will issue subpoenas." On Friday, the Justice Department said it would not cooperate with a congressional investigation.

- Los Angeles Times

Pastor calls shootings a test

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The leader of a megachurch where a gunman opened fire a week earlier, killing two teenage sisters and wounding three other people, said yesterday that the congregation's trials of the last couple of years were nothing more than tests.

"Last weekend was a test . . . but we are passing the test," the Rev. Brady Boyd, New Life Church senior pastor, said on a bright, sunny day when snow-capped Pikes Peak could be seen from the church grounds.

Another test came a year ago, Boyd said, when the church's founder, the Rev. Ted Haggard, was dismissed after a former male escort claimed Haggard paid him over three years for sex. "This is not what this church will be known for," Boyd said. Members of a mostly smiling crowd sang, clapped and waved as they watched the stage on several large-screen televisions simulcasting the service above them.

- AP

Elsewhere:

Alarmed by a report

about high numbers of close calls between planes on the ground at Los Angeles International Airport, some airport commissioners are urging officials to speed up a controversial review of how to make the facility's north runways safer.

The families of eight

U.S. military men who died in a 1944 crash of a B-24 bomber in the Himalayas want the Pentagon to step up efforts to recover their remains from the crash site discovered last year by a mountaineer.

A Congolese woman

who was repeatedly raped by prison officials allegedly investigating the assassination of President Laurent Kabila was granted political asylum in the United States, 16 months after her bid was initially denied.