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President Clinton plans to meet with the Big Three automakers in Washington today to discuss ways to open markets overseas to US models. The automakers say trade relations between the US and Japan are deteriorating over slow progress in opening Japanese dealerships for the Big Three. Earlier, Clinton planned to meet with Congress to propose several changes to the settlement between the tobacco industry and state attorneys general. And he signed a stopgap bill to fund the government through Oct. 23.
House and Senate negotiators decided to continue federal funding for the arts. But the funds must be distributed more widely, and amounts to larger states will be capped. The National Endowment for the Arts was promised $98 million, a little less than was appropriated in the past fiscal year. Also, House and Senate conferees tentatively approved the sale of $208 million of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part of a $13 billion Interior spending bill.
The House voted to bar the use of statistical sampling in the 2000 census, saying the Census Bureau can proceed with the controversial survey method only if the Supreme Court decides it's constitutional. Statistical sampling is designed to project the number of people missed by the traditional method and would supplement the door-to-door survey. The House also passed the $31.7 billion funding bill for the departments of Commerce, State, and Justice. It provides $1.5 billion more than last year and gives the UN a first-year payment of $100 million for US-owed money in arrears.
US astronaut Scott Parazynski planned to take a stroll in space with Russian cosmonaut Vladimir Titov outside the Mir space station. The men were to retrieve four suitcase-shaped experiment boxes attached to the docking module by Americans last year. Researchers plan to test the contents for their exposure to space. Mir's crew also planned to hook up a new computer.
The White House is expecting Attorney General Janet Reno to order a formal 90-day inquiry tomorrow into allegations that Vice President Gore made dozens of phone calls from the White House to solicit campaign contribution, USA Today said. Gore has admitted making the calls, but says he acted lawfully.
WorldCom Inc., the fourth-largest US long-distance company, offered to buy MCI Communications Corp. for $30 billion. The bid came just before MCI and British Telecommunications PLC planned to close a deal.
A flurry of meteorologists was expected to blow into Washington to hear Clinton discuss the weather. Clinton wants them to report on global warming before an international conference takes place in December on reducing greenhouse gases. The forecasters also were to visit with global warming experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The Federal Reserve decided to keep interest rates unchanged. The policymakers plan to meet again Nov. 12. Also, consumer confidence rose last month, according to the Conference Board, a business research group in New York. But the sale of single-family homes fell 2.2 percent in August, it said.
Iran's foreign minister said his country is open to reestablishing relations with the US. During a rare speech in New York by an Iranian official to an American audience, Kamal Kharrazi said the election of President Mohammad Khatami has allowed the international community to "rethink" Iran. The two countries broke relations in 1979.
The skull of a Tyrannosaurus rex fossil discovered in Montana that promised evidence of a new species of dinosaur was damaged by vandals, the Earthwatch Institute said. Two-thirds of the left side of the skull is missing. The finding has been marred by an ownership dispute over the land where the fossil was found.
The Islamic militant group Hamas vowed no letup in attacks on Israel despite the release from prison of its ill founder, Sheik Ahmed Yassin. Yassin was flown to Jordan, reportedly as part of a secret deal to win the release of two Israeli agents. His arrival was greeted personally by King Hussein.
NATO troops in Bosnia seized four transmitters, taking Serb television off the air. A spokes-man said the action was in response to "highly provocative" broadcasts suggesting the UN war crimes tribunal is anti-Serb. The broadcasts were blamed on hardliners loyal to former Serb sub-state President Karadzic from studios in Pale. But NATO's move also had the effect of silencing those of rival Serbs from Banja Luka, home of Karadzic's successor, Biljana Plavsic.