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News In Brief

By CompiledRobert Kilborn and Lance Carden / January 12, 1999



US fighter jets fired on a missile site in Iraq's northern "no fly" zone again, a Pentagon spokeswoman reported. She said US planes in the zone were targeted by an Iraqi site near Mosul. No damage or casualties were reported on the US side, and the spokeswoman said all American planes returned safely to their base in Incirlik, Turkey. It was the fifth confrontation over Iraqi "no fly" zones in the past two weeks. The White House was likely to seek a motion to dismiss the impeachment charges against the President Clinton, wire-service reports said. A vote on such a motion would not come until after House prosecutors and the White House present their cases to the jury of 100 senators and take questions from them. That phase of the trial begins Thursday with House arguments and could last several weeks. Vice President Al Gore was expected to propose a $10 billion bond program to help communities preserve green space, reduce traffic congestion, protect water quality, and clean up abandoned industrial sites. The Washington Post said the proposed legislation would allow state, local, and tribal governments to obtain zero-interest financing because investors in the 15-year bonds would receive tax credits in lieu of interest. Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal said Gore would propose a rise of about 13 percent in US public-transportation spending in fiscal 2000. "Titanic" picked up some additional honors at the People's Choice Awards ceremony in Pasadena, Calif. "Titanic," which won 11 Academy Awards last year, was voted favorite motion picture and favorite dramatic motion picture. The Supreme Court refused to revive an Arizona measure declaring English the official state language and requiring its use in most government transactions. The justices, without comment, rejected an appeal in which supporters of the voter-approved state-constitutional amendment had argued that the government has the right to control its own speech. The Arizona Supreme Court struck down the measure in April, saying it violated citizens' free-speech rights. The high court also left intact the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, rejecting a challenge by two former servicemen discharged after declaring their homosexuality. And the justices left standing federal convictions of 10 anti-abortion protesters who two years ago blocked access to a Rochester, N.Y., abortion clinic. A dramatic overhaul of child-welfare programs was called for in a 167-page report of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at New York's Columbia University. It says parental drug and alcohol abuse costs local, state, and federal agencies $20 billion a year - and that the US loses another $10 billion annually through reduced productivity, as well as health-care, law-enforcement, and other social costs. The report blames parental addiction for throwing the child-welfare system into a state of "chaos, collapse, and calamity."

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