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President Clinton plans to take the education policies he unveiled before Congress last week to statehouses around the country, the White House said. The president was scheduled to make the first such visit to the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis. Officials said the trips will allow Clinton to discuss with legislators the role that states can play in reshaping public education, as well as what he considers to be objectionable parts of last year's welfare law.
Low unemployment rates need not produce rising inflation, the president said in his annual economic report to Congress. The report, prepared by the Council of Economic Advisers, said low inflation and strong growth can go hand in hand, just as high inflation and slow economic growth coexisted in the late 1970s.
One of the president's Whitewater partners, James McDougal, is telling federal prosecutors Clinton knew about an illegal loan to Susan McDougal in 1986, ABC News and The New Yorker magazine reported. The McDougals, along with former Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, were convicted in May of fraud and conspiracy charges growing out of the Whitewater investigation. Both Jim McDougal and Clinton testified under oath at the McDougals' trial that Clinton did not know about a $300,000 loan to Susan McDougal as alleged by David Hale, who issued the loan.
A former top US envoy to Taiwan is being investigated for allegedly using his position to further private business pursuits, the Los Angeles Times reported. James C. Wood, a former lobbyist and a longtime friend of Clinton, already had been accused of using his post to improperly solicit contributions to the president's reelection campaign. The FBI is investigating both accusations, unidentified officials told the Times.
Republican leaders pressed Clinton to overhaul the US tax system. In a letter to the president, they said the present code is so complicated it has even baffled a new multibillion-dollar computer system at the Internal Revenue Service. Clinton was urged to submit by May 1 a proposal that would be fairer, simpler, and less intrusive.
A manufacturing firm said it had found a new way to speed up computers by quadrupling the performance of microprocessor chips. Officials of California-based Plasma and Materials Technologies, Inc. announced a new way to apply insulation between the millions of tiny connections in a chip's transistors, dramatically reducing interference between the signals they carry. The innovation is still being tested, but could be mass-produced as early as 1998, officials said.
Humans apparently lived in Chile much earlier than previously believed, The Dallas Morning News reported. If verified, the report from Alex Barker, curator of archaeology at the Dallas Museum of Natural History, could revise theories about human migration. Archaeologists have long held that people migrated across a land bridge from Asia to Alaska some 12,000 years ago and then went south. But new evidence from a site some 500 miles south of Santiago, Chile, suggests humans lived there 12,500 years ago.
Marine Corps jets training near Okinawa accidentally fired more than 1,500 radioactive bullets during an exercise more than a year ago, The Washington Times reported. It said the Japanese were informed about a year after the fact. The Times said depleted-uranium ammunition is classified as conventional weaponry and quoted military officials as saying spent rounds are safe unless swallowed.
The countdown continued for the launch of space shuttle Discovery after a problem with leaking oxygen apparently was solved. Launch time was adjusted slightly to 3:55 a.m. Discovery's seven-man crew plans to latch on to the Hubble Space Telescope and bring it into the shuttle cargo bay to upgrade some of its instruments.
US demand for machine tools was estimated at $839 million in December, the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association and the Association for Manufacturing Technology said. The estimated figure for November was $647 million.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and his Cabinet discussed plans for new troop withdrawals from the West Bank only hours after leaving a meeting on the issue with Palestinian Authority President Arafat. The Cabinet discussions were said to focus on whether the withdrawal would come from areas currently under Israeli authority or from territory under joint Israeli-Palestinian control. Netanyahu is due in Washington Thursday for talks with President Clinton.
Mainstream political parties blamed each other for the election victory of a right-wing extremist in the French city of Vitrolles, near Marseilles. Catherine Megret won the mayor's office in a runoff against a discredited Socialist opponent. The outcome gives the anti-immigrant National Front of Jean-Marie Le Pen control of four local governments in southeastern France, which has a large concentration of settlers from North Africa and a high crime rate.