News In Brief
Ellis Island is mostly in New Jersey, the Supreme Court ruled. In a 6-to-3 decision, the justices said New York can lay claim to only about five acres - including the main historic building - on the 27.5-acre island where waves of would-be immigrants were processed from 1892 to 1954. In addition, the court turned away, without comment, arguments by antiabortion protesters from North Carolina that the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act discriminates against abortion opponents and that Congress overstepped its authority to regulate interstate commerce when it passed the measure.Skip to next paragraph
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Consumer confidence fell slightly in May, but remained strong. The Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence fell to 135.2 from a revised 137.2 in April. Even with the decline, the index was near the 29-year high of 137.4 recorded in February.
The US will soon announce retaliatory measures to protest a European Union barley shipment on its way to California, Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman said. Farmers and lawmakers had bitterly criticized the subsidized 30,000-metric-ton shipment of Finnish grain, saying it depressed already-low grain prices and may signal EU plans to dump more heavily subsidized farm commodities in the US.
Police shut down San Francisco's main medical marijuana club, enforcing a court order to close the operation for violating state drug laws. A superior court judge said last week the San Francisco Cannabis Healing Center did not fit provisions in a 1996 state law which specified only patients and "primary caregivers" could legally possess marijuana for medical use.
Monica Lewinsky's former White House boss testified before the Whitewater grand jury in Washington. John Hilley, head of the White House Office of Congressional Liaison while Lewinsky worked as an intern there, was the first witness of the week in the closed-door proceedings.
Fourteen members of the Montana Freemen were to go on trial in Billings. They are charged with more than 40 crimes - including conspiracy, bank fraud, threatening a federal judge, and armed robbery in connection with an attempt to establish their own governments and courts. They were brought to justice after an 81-day standoff with the FBI nearly two years ago. Five Freemen have already been convicted.
Michael Fortier is to be sentenced today in Oklahoma City for doing nothing to stop the bombing in 1965 of the city's federal building, which cost 168 lives. Fortier has pleaded guilty to transporting and selling stolen weapons to finance the bomb plot. He is expected to win some leniency because he provided evidence for the convictions of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.
A leading anti-Nazi group said a new report on how Switzerland ignored the origins of Nazi gold falls short because it looks only at assets of the victims, not at the victimizers. An official of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles urged an investigation of what happened to assets of Nazis that came to the Swiss banks. The new Swiss report is the first government-sanctioned study to conclude that Swiss officials were clearly aware they were buying stolen gold.
Florida officials said continuing heat and drought had left the state very vulnerable to forest fires. Firefighters said at least 10,000 acres had already been scorched - more than 1,000 of them in or near the Apalachicola National Forest. Teams brought in from neighboring Georgia, Alabama, and Arkansas to help battle some of the blazes were asked to remain for forest fires expected in coming weeks.
Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble was in a fight for control of his own party in Northern Ireland as members opened the selection process for candidates to serve on the 108-seat power-sharing assembly that will govern the province with Catholics. His party, the largest Protestant group in Northern Ireland, is deeply split over sharing power. Analysts said Trimble was trying to keep his followers from voting for candidates who oppose the historic peace accord, which was approved by a majority of voters in last week's referendum.
New violence broke out in Arab-occupied eastern Jerusalem as Palestinian protesters attacked a cluster of tin shacks erected by Jewish settlers. At least one man was hurt as police intervened. The shacks, reportedly a forerunner of permanent housing, were a response to the stabbing death of a seminary student in the neighborhood. Israeli authorities won a court order forcing the building of shacks to stop.
Pressure from Japanese mutual-fund managers to improve returns on their investments helped propel the US dollar to its highest close against the yen in seven years. A dollar bought 137.68 yen on the Tokyo exchange - the most since August 1991. Analysts said traders - impatient with all-time-low yields in Japan's bond markets - were seeking to tap into red-hot US stocks.