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Signaling preparation for a possible showdown with Iraq, Defense Secretary William Cohen and Gen. Henry Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, canceled trips to Asia. The UN Security Council was considering a US call for tighter sanctions against Iraq. A US U-2 surveillance plane flew over Iraq unopposed Monday, despite an Iraqi threat to attack such flights. Baghdad's decision two weeks ago to bar US weapons inspectors has halted work of UN teams trying to ensure that Iraq is not developing weapons of mass destruction.
President Clinton suffered a major defeat in his struggle to win expanded trade negotiating power, but promised to "regroup" and refile the measure. Democratic leaders in the House, who refused to support his "fast track" trade bill, urged the president to rewrite it to give added protection to workers and the environment. The defeat put in doubt plans to expand free trade between North and South America, which Clinton had promoted in Latin America.
Congressional leaders renewed efforts to resolve contentious spending issues so lawmakers could adjourn for the year. Republicans told Clinton to restrict family-planning aid overseas or face cuts in requests for other forms of foreign aid. To keep the government going, Congress passed an emergency bill that provides funding through Friday.
A judge's decision to reduce a jury verdict against au pair Louise Woodward will be appealed, prosecutors and defense attorneys said in Cambridge, Mass. In a dramatic reversal, Woodward, who awoke in prison Monday morning facing at least 15 years behind bars for second-degree murder, was set free in the afternoon by Judge Hiller Zobel.
Defense Secretary Cohen announced a plan to cut 28,000 civilian jobs from the military and make business reforms to save $3.2 billion a year for arms modernization. He called on Congress to approve two new rounds of domestic base closings in 2001 and 2005 to save another $2.8 billion a year. Congress rejected a request for more base closings earlier this year.
Clinton called for tougher federal laws against hate crimes. He said he would support legislation to add violence against homosexuals, gender-motivated attacks, and attacks on the disabled to those laws. The new measure, introduced by Democratic Sens. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts and Ron Wyden of Oregon and GOP Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, also targets adults who recruit juveniles to commit hate crimes.
In the largest US corporate takeover so far, MCI Communications agreed to be acquired by WorldCom Inc. for $37 billion. The deal would combine the second- and fourth-largest long-distance service providers, giving the new firm one-fourth of the US market and creating a global telecommunication giant.
Mir Aimal Kasi of Pakistan was convicted of capital murder and on all other charges stemming from the killing of two CIA workers and the wounding of three other people outside CIA headquarters Jan. 25, 1993. Kasi, captured in June in Pakistan by the FBI after a four-year manhunt, could face the death penalty.
White House National Security Adviser Sandy Berger has agreed to pay more than $23,000 to settle a conflict-of-interest inquiry, the Justice Department said. The civil settlement stems from allegations that, as deputy national security adviser, Berger took actions that may have benefited the Amoco oil company. At the time, his wife and children had trusts that held Amoco stock.
Problems with a solar panel on the tiny Mars surveyor now orbiting the planet will force a one-year delay in its mapping mission, US space officials said. Scientists had hoped to begin the charting in March.
Iraq turned back a UN weapons-inspection team for the eighth time in nine days and predicted "international condemnation" if the US were to take unilateral military action. Reports from Baghdad said an unknown number of Iraqi families had volunteered to serve as human shields at sensitive government sites in case of an American attack.
Hong Kong's stock market reversed five days of heavy losses, with the key Hang Seng index closing up 11.29 points. Much of the gain came as investors snapped up utility stocks. The Hang Seng had lost more than 1,000 points in recent trading. But despite the assurances of government officials that Hong Kong's banking system was sound, depositors lined up to withdraw their savings from the International Bank of Asia for the second straight day.