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The issue of high-technology exports to China gave new life to the House inquiry into campaign fund-raising. Speaker Newt Gingrich named Rep. Chris Cox (R) of California to chair a new select panel to take over the probe. Meanwhile, the House voted unanimously in favor of immunity for four witnesses who are associates of Johnny Chung, a California businessman and Democratic Party fund-raiser who has reportedly said he received $300,000 from a Chinese aerospace official, passed $110,000 to the party, and kept the rest - an allegation China has denied.
The US trade deficit soared to a record $13 billion in March as America's trade gap with Japan, China, and other Asian countries widened yet again. The Commerce Department report showed the March deficit up 7 percent from a $12.2 billion imbalance in February. It was the fourth straight monthly increase.
Millions of pagers stopped working when a $250 million communications satellite went out of control. The Galaxy 4 satellite, operated by PanAmSat, based in Greenwich, Conn., stopped relaying pager messages, as well as radio and TV feeds, at about 6 p.m. EDT Tuesday when its control system failed. The voice-mail function of pagers was not affected, but pagers stopped beeping or vibrating to indicate messages had been received. Virtually all paging firms were affected.
Three of Florida's gentle, giant manatees were released from captivity into the Everglades in an effort to help save the endangered species. Using a new satellite-tracking system, researchers hope to monitor the progress of the trio, who had been living at Miami's Seaquarium. The manatee, or sea cow, is a plant-eating leathery mammal that averages 10 feet in length and 1,000 pounds in weight.
The Senate tobacco debate bogged down in an emotional dispute over aid to farmers, giving an opening to those hoping to stall the bill indefinitely. Some tobacco-state Democrats had cooperated with the author of the bill, Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona, in exchange for having their tobacco farm-aid program included. But then majority leader Trent Lott announced he was incorporating a proposal by Sen. Richard Lugar (R) of Indiana that would give farmers $18 billion over a five-year period but would end all federal price supports for tobacco.
The US is shipping $5 million worth of safety equipment to Mexican firefighters to help combat a rash of wildfires, the Agency for International Development announced. The blazes have burned more than 1 million acres and affected visibility and air quality throughout Central America and Texas, as well as neighboring states.
Amnesty International accused the US Border Patrol of beating, raping, and mistreating detainees. The Immigration and Naturalization Service asked the Justice Department to look into the charge, but said allegations of civil rights abuses by Border Patrol officials are rare.
Two in 5 Americans have turned to a form of medicine not offered by their regular doctors, a published report indicated. Alternative medicine is equally popular among different racial, income, and gender groups, according to the survey of 1,000 people reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The Stanford University School of Medicine study found that the better- educated and those in relatively poor health were more likely to choose such alternatives as chiropractors, homeopathy, and spiritual healing.
A Tennessee high school senior shot a classmate to death on the school grounds, three days before the two would have graduated. Both were students at Lincoln County High School in Fayetteville, near the Alabama state line. No one else was injured. The exact motive for the two fatal rifle shots was not immediately clear. The incident was the latest in a recent rash of shootings at US schools.
Secretary of State Albright broke her silence on the Indonesian crisis by calling for embattled President Suharto to quit. She said he'd "preserve his legacy" by permitting a transition to democracy. In Jakarta, residents awoke to the biggest display of force in decades, as 35,000 troops patrolled the streets. Opposition leaders canceled a planned nationwide rally, quoting a general as saying he "doesn't care at all" if his troops participated in an attack on protesters like Beijing's 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
Worried that disgruntled Protestants may prevent a decisive victory tomorrow in the referendum on Northern Ireland's new peace accord, British Prime Minister Blair planned a last-minute, in-person appeal for "yes" votes. The pro-accord campaign picked up some late momentum from a concert in Belfast by the rock group U2, whose lead singer, Bono (center) invited the leaders of Northern Ireland's largest Protestant group (David Trimble, l.) and largest Catholic party (John Hume, r.) onto the stage to thunderous applause.