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Cordiality and restraint reigned as President Clinton and House Speaker Gingrich debated the fate of the nation in the backyard of a senior-citizens center in Claremont, N.H. They agreed immediately on an audience member's suggestion that a bipartisan commission be set up to curb the power of special interests. An ABC poll showed that two-thirds of Americans think Gingrich - who denies he will run for the presidency despite his New Hampshire visit - is temperamentally unsuited for the job. He went on the defensive about Medicare cuts when Clinton said he would cut the program less than the Republicans by cutting taxes less. (Story, Page 3.)
Clinton is working on a plan to balance the budget within 10 years, but without some of the spending cuts or the $350 billion tax cut included in the GOP plan, White House chief-of-staff Panetta said. The Clinton plan would provide more money for education and Medicare. Panetta said Gingrich's threat to block spending legislation needed to keep the federal government running when the new fiscal year begins Oct. 1 is "a terrible signal to the world market."
A Newsweek poll said Senator Dole would beat Clinton 49 percent to 40 percent if a vote were held today. Dole said he is a "known quantity," but admitted Clinton would be a tough opponent.
The Supreme Court ruled that Congress is limited by the same strict standards as states in offering special help to minorities, a potentially crippling blow to affirmative-action programs. The splintered, complex 5-4 vote in a Colorado case stopped short of striking down a federal program offering help to small businesses owned by racial and ethnic minorities.The high court also said court-ordered school desegregation does not have to be maintained until student test scores reach national norms. And it rejected the appeals of 18 current and former National Football League players who say they wrongly were forced to join a $200 million settlement in 1993 of an antitrust lawsuit against the league and its 28 teams. (Story, Page 1.)
Talk of a 17-percent, flat-rate income tax is spooking the municipal-bond market, which has been performing poorly compared with Treasury bonds. Analysts said "munis" would not be such a rare tax-exempt option if a flat tax were to prevail.
Lotus Development Corp. agreed to a friendly takeover by IBM for $3.52 billion, about $220 million more than IBM's initial offer. Under the deal, Lotus CEO Jim Manzi will stay on and the firm's autonomy will be preserved. IBM offered an updated mainframe line of its large computers only nine months after the last update.
The Senate may vote tonight on a sweeping telecommunications reform bill. The White House opposes the Senate bill, saying it would lead to higher cable TV and telephone rates. The bill includes complex cable-deregulation and merger provisions. (Story, Page 3.)
Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan said the chance of a severe inventory recession in the US has gone down dramatically, based on May producer prices. The Agriculture Department lowered its forecasts for the winter wheat crop and the corn crop. Prices for both were expected to rise as a result.
Bankrupt Orange County will ask investors this week to look beyond its financial crisis and buy $295 million of new county bonds.
Labor leaders who sought to oust AFL-CIO President Kirkland said they will promote a slate of opposition candidates to lead the union, despite Kirkland's plan to hand control over to an ally when he retires. A source said Secretary-Treasurer Thomas Donahue, Kirkland's choice for the presidency, will declare his candidacy.
A federal judge ruled that the settlement offered to a group of women who brought a sex-discrimination lawsuit against the CIA is fair. The judge ordered the women to accept the settlement. They are considering an appeal.
Scientists say they have found evidence of helium gas formed in the Big Bang. The gas was identified more than 9 billion miles from Earth in readings from an ultraviolet telescope mounted in a space shuttle. The finding is thought to help confirm part of the Big Bang theory.
A spokeswoman said French President Chirac has received assurances from Serbia's president that the remaining UN hostages in Bosnia will be released soon. Meanwhile, fighting increased on several fronts. An intelligence source said the Pentagon had "tentative indications" that a Bosnian Serb antiaircraft missile unit was active shortly before pilot Scott O'Grady was shot down, but it doubted the exact location. UN trucks escorted by armored personnel vehicles defied Serb threats and guns, taking a risky route into Sarajevo to replenish exhausted flour stocks. (Story, Page 1.)