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President Clinton appointed former Vice President Walter Mondale and former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum (R) of Kansas to lead a White House effort to pressure Congress into reforming campaign finance laws, according to administration sources. Also, the White House placed a temporary freeze on sleep-overs in the Lincoln bedroom, on coffees, and on fund-raising receptions and dinners in its quarters. And a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee said it will take several months to raise and return $1.5 million in foreign or otherwise improper contributions identified several weeks ago by a DNC audit.
Attorney General Janet Reno said the FBI told her in May about possible Chinese efforts to funnel money to 1996 congressional candidates, and that she thought the information had been given to the White House. She said she has ordered an internal review of the "misunderstanding" between the FBI and White House National Security Council that resulted in the information not being given to the president.
The White House offered to pay Crown Butte Mines Inc. $65 million to stop it from developing a proposed copper, silver, and gold mining complex outside Yellowstone National Park. The money would come from coal, oil, and natural gas royalty revenue from existing federal leases in Montana, it said. The offer was made to protect the Yellowstone and Clark Fork Rivers from mining pollution. The company has 30 days to agree to the plan.
The US trade deficit increased to $165.1 billion last year - the second worst performance in history. The Commerce Department also reported that US retail sales rose 0.8 percent in February. That's just half of January's gain, which suggests moderate economic growth. And a Federal Reserve survey found regional economies expanding at a moderate pace with few signs of inflation.
Dow Jones & Co. announced the first changes in six years for its widely followed industrial average of 30 companies. It removed four companies because they lagged behind competitors or shifted from the focus that once put them on the list of America's top performers. For example, Westinghouse plans to split into two companies.
The tax break for ethanol has cost the federal Highway Trust Fund $7.1 billion since 1979, a Government Accounting Office study found. But the corn-based alcohol fuel has done little to reduce air pollution or enhance national national security, according to the study, which was released by House Ways and Means chairman Bill Archer (R) of Texas. Archer Daniels Midlands of Decatur, Ill., owns 50 percent of the ethanol production capacity.
The Senate confirmed Federico Pena as energy secretary. White House opposition to a Senate bill that would require the government to build a temporary nuclear-waste storage facility in Nevada delayed the confirmation for several weeks.
Los Angeles police arrested a suspect in the shooting death of Ennis Cosby, the son of comedian Bill Cosby. They said they believe the younger Cosby was the victim of a "Russian" robbery gang, the Los Angeles Times reported. He was shot in January while changing a tire.
Former White House press secretary James Brady visited Capitol Hill to push for required child-safety locks on all guns. Some 86 percent of Americans back laws requiring childproofing of new handguns, according to a survey by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the National Opinion Research Center of the University of Chicago. Some 68 percent want new handguns "personal-ized" so that only an authorized user can operate the gun.
Investigators dismissed a claim by Pierre Salinger, a former ABC newsman and press secretary to President Kennedy, that he has proof that a US Navy missile shot down TWA Flight 800 off Long Island, N.Y. He presented a set of radar images to bolster his case at a Paris news conference and in a detailed article in Paris Match. Salinger said air-traffic control video shows two blips - one of them a missile heading for the plane. But federal officials who reviewed the airport tape said it shows only one blip.
A Jordanian border guard was overpowered by fellow soldiers after shooting into a group of Israeli schoolgirls on a field trip. Seven girls died and six others were wounded. King Hussein cut short a diplomatic visit to Spain and the US and returned home, expressing outrage at the incident. But he defended himself against accusations that his angry letter earlier this week to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu might have prompted the shooting. The letter warned of violence if Israel proceeded with plans to build new housing for Jews in East Jerusalem.