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The House passed a bill combating illegal immigration to the US while removing most of the provisions for legal immigration reform. The bill would double the size of the US border patrol to 10,000 and construct a "triple fence" along the US-Mexico border. An amendment to create a guest-worker program was rejected. The bill moves next to the Senate. Separately, the Immigration Service fined Colin Cares Inc., a White Plains, N.Y.-based cleaning company a record $1.5 million for more than 150 instances of knowingly hiring illegal immigrants and those whose work authorizations had expired.
President Clinton signed a stopgap spending bill keeping the government open through this weekend, but the White House says it's tired of the patchwork approach to government. White House chief of staff Panetta hinted the 11th spending measure may be the last Clinton will sign, saying that "Congress ought not to look to any additional short-term" measures. Clinton is urging Congress to fund the rest of the year before March 29, the beginning of a two-week spring recess.
US officials say the 1990 murder in Guatemala of US citizen Michael Devine was covered up by two Guatemalan presidents, their defense ministers, and top military officials, reports The New York Times. The death and cover-up caused the US to cut off millions in military aid, but the CIA continued to secretly funnel millions more until last year. Also, US officials are examining new evidence implicating Guatemalan leaders in the 1992 death of guerrilla Efrain Bamaca.
China rejected a US demand to cease nuclear-related shipments to Pakistan, making it more likely the White House will impose sanctions for past shipments. Also, Defense Secretary Perry cancelled a meeting with the Chinese defense minister because of tensions over Chinese war games in the Taiwan Strait.
Despite a House vote to repeal the assault-weapons ban, a similar Senate attempt seems unlikely. The House vote also fell short of the two-thirds needed to override Clinton's promised veto.
Much of the South Pacific is about to become a nuclear-free zone. The US, Britain, and France will likely sign a treaty this week barring nuclear testing across much of the Pacific. The manufacture, acquisition, and stationing of nuclear weapons in the area will be banned.
Astronaut Shannon Lucid has moved into her new home aboard the Russian space station Mir. Lucid, a biochemist, will live aboard Mir until August, when Atlantis will pick her up and drop off another astronaut for an extended stay. Six more shuttle-Mir dockings are planned over the next two years.
Whitewater counsel Kenneth Starr will determine whether former White House aide David Watkins lied to investigators about Hillary Rodham Clinton's role in the 1993 firings of White House travel employees. A special court ordered Starr to expand his investigation.
A new US $100 dollar bill goes into circulation today. The bill has an off-center picture of Ben Franklin and other features to thwart counterfeiters.
Eight mining companies are being accused by the Justice Department of dumping 70 millions tons of waste into the Coeur d'Alene River Basin in Boise, Idaho. Several of the companies say the lawsuit is part of a "war on the West."
Six General Motors plants were set to resume operations today, after the end of an 18-day brake-plant strike in Dayton, Ohio, that idled most of GM's production. The strikers returned to work after 99 percent approved a settlement with GM centering around the company's outsourcing practices.
Five hundred University of Texas students rallied Friday to protest the Fifth Circuit of Appeals ruling against an affirmative-action admissions program.
Religious Groups Petition Massachusetts Supreme Court
A wide variety of religious organizations filed a brief asking the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to dismiss a case involving a dispute over the government of The First Church of Christ, Scientist. Thirteen of the organizations had filed a previous friend of the court brief in support of the church in a suit against several former and present officers brought by Elizabeth Weaver of Glen Arbor, Mich., and Roy Varner of Houston. The latest brief was signed by five additional church groups including the Massachusetts Council of Churches, the Baptist Joint Committee, and the American Jewish Congress. The religious organizations argued that, "to allow this case to proceed to trial threatens immediate and irreparable harm" to the Christian Science Church "and it threatens similar harm in the future to all of the Commonwealth's religious denominations."