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President Clinton took the oath of office and was inaugurated for a second term amid tight security. He indicated he wanted his inaugural to help build bipartisan cooperation in Washington. Senate majority leader Trent Lott (R) of Miss. said that could depend in large measure on how the administration handles debate on a balanced-budget amendment, which the White House opposes. Meanwhile, three new public-opinion polls found the president's approval rating at or near 60 percent.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee recommended confirmation of Madeleine Albright as the nation's first woman secretary of state. The committee voted 11-to-0 for confirmation, but left open the possibility that other members who were absent would vote later. A full Senate vote could come today, committee chairman Jesse Helms said.
The US House is to vote today on ethics committee recommendations that Speaker Newt Gingrich be reprimanded and pay a $300,000 penalty for admitted breaches of House rules. Republicans and Democrats debated whether the Speaker could use his political war chest to pay the penalty. The committee voted 7 to 1 in favor of the sanctions. Rep. Lamar Smith (R) of Texas cast the only "no" vote.
The US Supreme Court said it would reconsider a decision barring public school teachers from working at religious schools. On a 5-to-4 vote in 1985, the court ordered New York to stop sending public school teachers into parochial schools to teach such subjects as remedial reading. A decision in the case is expected by July.
Clinton declared a major disaster in two counties in Washington State hit by recent storms that caused floods and mudslides. The action makes residents of King and Snohomish counties eligible for federal disaster funds.
A pair of bombs rocked a Tulsa, Okla., abortion clinic, but caused no injuries. Investigators said they were exploring whether there was a possibile connection with a pair of bombings that caused a number of injuries near an abortion clinic in Atlanta last week.
Martin Luther King Jr.'s eldest son said he was forming an Americans United for Affirmative Action group to fight efforts to do away with affirmative action programs nationwide. Martin Luther King III made the announcement two days before the national observance of his father's birthday and a few days after a key supporter of California's Proposition 209 said he was setting up an American Civil Rights Institute to promote similar measures in other states. Prop. 209, which was approved by California voters in November, would end use of race and gender factors in state hiring, contracting, and university admissions.
The US trade deficit edged up slightly to $8.4 billion in November and industrial production jumped 0.8 percent in December, the Commerce Department said. The trade deficit was up 4.9 percent from an October imbalance of $8 billion. December's gain in industrial production matched the increase for November.
New pictures of the Jupiter moon Europa suggest life could exist there, scientists said. The photos came from the Galileo space probe.
US astronaut John Blaha ended a four-month stay on Russia's Mir space station and began the trip home aboard the US shuttle Atlantis. It was scheduled to bring Blaha and the five astronauts who retrieved him back to Earth tomorrow. Blaha was the third American to live on the Russian station. A fourth, Jerry Linenger, joined Russian cosmonauts last week when Atlantis reached Mir. Meanwhile, an investigation began into the explosion of an unmanned $55 million McDonnell Douglas Delta II rocket above Cape Canaveral, Fla. It was carrying a $40 million Air Force navigational satellite.
Former US Sen. Paul Tsongas of Masssachusetts, who briefly became the Democratic presidential front-runner in 1992, died Jan. 18 in a Boston hospital.
Opposition leaders in Serbia lost a new round in their legal battle to gain control of Belgrade's city government. A municipal court suspended an election commission ruling that the opposition had defeated President Slobodan Milosevic's Socialist Party in the capital in November elections. A spokesman said the Serbian Supreme Court would have to rule on who had jurisdiction in the matter. It was the second time Milosevic's forces successfully contested the election commission ruling.
Palestinian Authority President Arafat won a pledge from some Islamic leaders that they would not contest his rule in Hebron. Meanwhile, his security chief said he would try to make Hebron safe for Jewish settlers in the wake of Israel's troop withdrawal from 80 percent of the West Bank city last week.