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President Clinton planned to roll out the red carpet for British Prime Minister Tony Blair today. Blair is visiting the US with a team of domestic policy leaders to brainstorm with the administration on issues such as education and the welfare overhaul. After being treated to a 19-gun salute and dinner featuring performances by Elton John and Stevie Wonder, Blair was to face the press with Clinton at a White House news conference tomorrow. Among other issues, they planned to present a united front on Iraq and a peace initiative for Northern Ireland.
Congress was expected to pass a bipartisan resolution urging Clinton to "take all necessary and appropriate actions to respond to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction program." Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, just returned from talks with Arab and European leaders, planned to meet with member of Congress to urge passage of the resolution sponsored by Senate majority leader Trent Lott (R) of Mississippi and minority leader Tom Daschle (D) of South Dakota.
Democratic fund-raiser Yahlin Charlie Trie was to be formally arraigned in Washington today on charges of campaign fund-raising abuses. Clinton's longtime friend flew into Washington's Dulles International Airport and surrendered to the FBI. He fled the US in 1996 and took refuge in China. Last week, a grand jury brought 15 charges against Trie and Antonio Pan, a business associate, accusing them of funneling illegal foreign contributions to Democratic Party campaign committees during the 1996 election cycle.
George Stephanopoulos, a former senior aide to Clinton, testified before a federal grand jury that he had no firsthand knowledge about the relationship between the president and former White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Another former White House intern, Caroline Self, was also questioned about packages from Lewinsky that she had signed for at the White House, and said she knew of no improper relationship between the two. Meanwhile, Lewinsky flew to California to visit her father.
El-Nio-driven downpours and high winds forced thousands of West Coast residents out of their homes as rivers overflowed and freeways flooded. Meanwhile, residents on the East Coast braced for slow-moving rain and snow storms and heavy winds. In Florida, torrential rains and tornadoes left 91 families homeless in Greater Miami.
Gene McKinney, former Sgt. Major of the Army, pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting and harassing women soldiers as his court martial began at Fort Belvoir, Va. He is accused on 19 counts, including indecent assault, adultery, and obstruction of justice.
The Federal Reserve was expected to hold interest rates steady as it wrapped up a two-day meeting in Washington, economists said. The central bank is assessing the impact of Asia's economic crisis.
The US Supreme Court rejected a final appeal by Karla Faye Tucker, who became the first woman to be executed in Texas since 1863 and the first in the nation since 1984. Tucker became a born-again Christian after being convicted of murdering two people in 1983.
A company owned by investor Warren Buffet announced it has bought 130 million ounces of silver worth about $850 million since July, more than the total kept in warehouses by the New York Mercantile Exchange. Omaha-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said it has no present plans for reselling the silver. Dwindling supplies have pushed the metal to its highest price in nine years.
Republican legislators made plans to dismiss former US Rep. Bob Dornan's challenge to the 1996 election he lost to Democrat Loretta Sanchez. A congressional task force established by Republicans "could not prove there were enough illegal votes to vacate the seat or overturn the election," its statement said.
"Sooner or later," UN weapons inspectors will be allowed into Iraqi presidential palaces, a senior member of parliament in Baghdad said. Rijaa al-Shawi told reporters the country's leaders "are keen to get rid of this crisis" and avert a military strike by US-led forces. In Moscow, Russian President Yeltsin was quoted as warning that by ordering such an attack the US "might run into a world war."
Secretary of State Albright headed home to Washington after her tour of Middle East capitals. Following her meeting with him in Cairo, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak urged Iraq to end the standoff and avoid "very dangerous consequences."