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President Clinton used his line-item veto power for the first time, striking down a tax break for food-processing firms and a spending item affecting the Medicaid health-care program. The tax item was reportedly worth $84 million over five years in breaks to food processors, and the spending item concerned a Medicaid reimbursement formula. A law giving presidents the line-item-veto option was passed last year. It allows parts of spending measures or narrowly targeted tax breaks to be struck down without vetoing entire bills. As with other vetoes, Congress can override the president with two-thirds majorities in both the House and Senate.
Teamsters Union and United Parcel Service leaders agreed to meet separately with Labor Secretary Alexis Herman in an effort to end the eight-day-old strike. Earlier, Herman had warned UPS not to escalate the dispute by hiring substitutes for strikers. UPS also faces a strike by its pilots union if a new contract is not reached in talks set to resume in a few weeks, The Wall Street Journal reported. It said pilots voted this spring to authorize such a strike.
The United Auto Workers set another strike deadline for General Motors. Union officials at a plant in Ypsilanti, Mich., gave the company until midnight Friday to meet their demands. Details of the talks were not made public. The plant, which employs about 5,900 people, produces rear-wheel-drive transmissions as well as components for transmissions built elsewhere. A prolonged walkout could force GM to shut down a number of powertrain and assembly plants.
US Sen. Richard Lugar (R) of Indiana took his support of William Weld to a new level, criticizing the White House for not vigorously promoting the former Massachusetts governor's nomination to become ambassador to Mexico. "I'm not aware the administration is doing anything on behalf of Bill Weld," Lugar said on NBC-TV's "Meet the Press." Speaking on ABC's "This Week," former Clinton aide George Stephanopoulos also said the White House should do more to aid Weld.
Data from an ozone-monitoring satellite released by the space-shuttle Discovery appear to support a theory that Earth is being bombarded daily by thousands of house-size comets, a scientist said. The satellite has detected much more water vapor in the upper atmosphere at northern latitudes than current theories had predicted, said Robert Conway of the Naval Research Laboratory. One possible explanation is that Earth is being pelted by snowball-like minicomets that release clouds of water vapor into the atmosphere. Meanwhile, the Discovery crew chatted with youngsters at a Canadian space camp in Saskatoon, Sask., and ran more tests with a 5-foot robot arm.
A discount department store in Nashville, Tenn., was looted and destroyed by fire just hours after the killing of a black murder suspect by a white policeman. Before the Dollar General Store burned, a crowd gathered in anger over the shooting of Leon Fisher of Nashville.
Demand for machine tools rose nearly 20 percent in the first half of the year, two industry groups said. The American Machine Tool Distributors Association and the Association for Manufacturing Technology said January-to-June demand rose to $4.4 billion from $3.7 billion in the first six months of last year. Total demand in June increased 38.9 percent to an estimated $894 million from $644 million in May.
US Rep. Charles Schumer (D) of New York widened his crusade for immigration reform, finding support from conservative commentator Pat Buchanan. Schumer said the US has been "too lax and too lenient" about illegal immigration. Buchanan, a former GOP presidential candidate, called it "a national security problem for the American people." Schumer introduced legislation last year to make it easier for US immigration officials to refuse entry to people connected to extremist groups.
Palestinian Authority President Arafat and Israeli officials met for the first time since the July 30 marketplace bombing in Jerusalem. The two sides exchanged information on the attack and discussed reestablishing security coordination. That meeting, in the West Bank town of Ramallah, and another to be held several hours later were arranged by US envoy Dennis Ross. Meanwhile, the extremist group Hamas warned it would be "dangerous" if Arafat heeded Israeli demands to crack down on militants. (Editorial, Page 20.)
Cambodian ruler Hun Sen was to meet with King Norodom Sihanouk in Beijing today after the latter offered to abdicate. Analysts said Hun Sen would try to secure Sihanouk's blessing to legitimize his government since he ousted Prince Norodom Rana-riddh in a July coup. Meanwhile, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations stopped referring to Ranariddh as Cambodia's "first Prime Minister" during an emergency meeting in Singapore. ASEAN said the situation had changed in Cambodia with the election of Foreign Minister Ung Huot to the post.