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Nation briefs for Wednesday, Feb. 17

MASSACHUSETTS

Frank: Bayh should stay

Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh could do more to change the partisan politics on Capitol Hill by staying than by leaving, Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts said. "I share the frustration, but I would have hoped he would have stayed around and voted to change the filibuster rule," he said Tuesday at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where he signed copies of his biography.

CALIFORNIA

Challenge to Prop. 209

The law that bars the University of California from considering race in student admissions violates the civil rights of black, Latino and Native Americans who are underrepresented at the state's most prestigious campuses, a class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges. The federal court suit was brought by the pro-affirmative action group By Any Means Necessary, based in Michigan. It challenges the constitutionality of Proposition 209, approved by voters in 1996 that prohibits racial or gender preferences in public contracting, education and employment.

WASHINGTON STATE

Climber's body recovered

SEATTLE (AP) - The body of a veteran climber who fell 1,500 feet into the crater atop Mount St. Helens was recovered Tuesday after he spent more than a day in the snow. Clouds and wind had hampered efforts to reach Joseph Bohlig, 52, of Kelso, Wash., who was posing for a picture on the rim of the dormant crater when a snow overhang gave way and he fell in. Richard Bohlig, 84, said his son had climbed peaks in many countries, but Mount St. Helens was his home mountain. The body, partly covered by snow, was spotted by a Navy helicopter. Bohlig had climbed the volcano 68 times.

TEXAS

Starr to head Baylor

WACO, Texas (AP) - Baylor University's new presidentKenneth Starr said Tuesday he is excited to promote the world's largest Baptist university, Baylor, and pleased his time as an independent prosecutor investigating the Clinton White House is long past. Starr, Pepperdine University's law school dean, was named Baylor's 14th president.

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