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The next step toward impeachment hearings was scheduled to take place today before the House Judiciary Committee, with lawyers representing the panel's majority Republicans and minority Democrats giving different assessments of the case against President Clinton and how to proceed. In the end, a Republican majority was expected to vote for an open-ended inquiry, based on Watergate precedents, to begin after the midterm elections. The number of Democratic votes for such an inquiry will indicate the extent, if any, of bipartisan support.
Former President Gerald Ford called for a public rebuke of Clinton, rather than a monetary fine or impeachment. Ford, who took over as president in 1974 after Richard Nixon's resignation, later pardoned his fellow Republican for any federal crimes he might have committed as president. Ford's statement was part of an essay in The New York Times.
The number of credible threats to the US involving weapons of mass destruction increased significantly this year said Robert Blitzer, the FBI's chief of domestic-terrorism and counterterrorism planning. Through September, the FBI had opened more than 85 inquiries related to chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear threats, he told a House Government Reform and Oversight subcommittee. Last year, there were only 68 such probes, Blitzer said.
Canada and the US took steps to head off a potential trade war. The Ottawa government agreed to suspend complaints recently filed with the World Trade Organization and the North American Free Trade Agreement after US governors in Northern states said they would stop blocking shipments of Canadian livestock and grain. The two nations also agreed to launch talks to resolve Canada's agricultural-import restrictions and other farm-related disputes.
Congress voted to delay a law requiring new, stricter checks at border crossings. Lawmakers from states bordering Canada said the change could create a traffic "nightmare." Legislation to delay implementation of the law until Oct. 15 passed the House by voice vote and sailed through the Senate without dissent an hour later. Clinton is expected to sign it.
The nation's unemployment rate rose to 4.6 percent and job growth slumped to its lowest level in nearly three years in September, the Labor Department reported. The unemployment rate, up from 4.5 percent during the three previous months, was the highest in six months. It hit a 28-year low of 4.3 percent in April and May.
Explosive devices were found outside two North Carolina abortion clinics previously targeted by arsonists. A device consisting of several sticks of dynamite, a detonator, and a timer was found near the front door of the Carolina Women's Clinic in Fayetteville, and another explosive device was discovered outside the Hallmark Women's Clinic three miles away. A spokesman for the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms called the devices "serious bombs."
Martin Luther King Jr.'s family is suing a man who once claimed he hired King's assassin - someone other than the late convicted killer, James Earl Ray. The state lawsuit, filed in Memphis, Tenn., seeks unspecified damages from Lloyd Jowers and "unknown co-conspirators." The lawsuit also seeks a jury trial in hopes of bringing out new facts about the tragic death of the late civil-rights leader.
Gene Autry, who died in Los Angeles, was Hollywood's first singing cowboy. He cut 635 records, including "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"; made 95 films; and starred in a TV show from 1950 to 1956. Autry, who also made a fortune in broadcasting, was the original owner of the California Angels baseball team. His death comes less than three months after that of his great Hollywood rival, Roy Rogers.
Air defenses in Yugoslavia went on high alert as Western alliances awaited a crucial report on whether the Belgrade government was complying with a UN resolution demanding a peaceful settlement of the Kosovo crisis. NATO leaders were to meet in Brussels and the European Union in Luxembourg today on military intervention in Kosovo. Meanwhile, a new "interim" government was seated in Kosovo, minus any Albanian separatist leaders. In London, the British government refused comment on published reports that it would send thousands of ground troops to the embattled province following NATO air strikes.