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News In Brief

By CompiledRobert Kilborn and Lance Carden / January 25, 1999



The Senate impeachment trial is to resume today, but Sen. Robert Byrd (D) of West Virginia planned to offer a motion to dismiss the case. House prosecutors and White House lawyers would have an hour each to argue the motion put forward by Byrd, which was expected to be defeated along party lines. Senate Republicans said they would submit written questions to President Clinton as early as today to resolve "some of the inconsistencies" in the case. A motion to subpoena a list of witnesses is also expected today. Each side would have three hours to discuss it.

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House prosecutors were set to interview Monica Lewinsky, a prospect that frayed tempers among Senate Democrats and the bipartisan tenor of the impeachment trial. Lewinsky flew to Washington after her attorneys initially rejected a request from the prosecutors, who then enlisted independent counsel Kenneth Starr's help in forcing her to cooperate. Federal District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson ruled Lewinsky would risk her immunity accord if she refused to attend the meeting. Democrats said this activity violates a bipartisan accord to put off consideration of witnesses until later in the week.

Clinton called for an additional $2.8 billion in federal funds to fight terrorism. Among the proposed expenditures: $52 million for stockpiling medicines and vaccines, $683 million to train and equip emergency public-health personnel, $206 million to protect US facilities, $381 million to help deal with nuclear emergencies, and $500 million to protect the nation's infrastructure.

The number of foreigners granted legal residence dropped 13 percent during the 1997 fiscal year, in part because officials were unable to keep pace with applications, the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) reported. Nearly 700,000 illegal immigrants filed for legal permanent residence in 1997 - up from 121,000 three years earlier - under terms of a 1994 amnesty law allowing certain illegal immigrants to legalize their status. Congress decided last year not to renew the law. In fiscal 1997, the agency granted legal residence to 798,378 people. The INS said it would have granted as many as 150,000 additional green cards, had it been able to keep pace with its paperwork.

Philadelphia was chosen as host of the GOP National Convention in 2000. The unanimous decision by the Republican National Committee (RNC) is a prize worth millions of dollars in business to the city. The RNC also reelected Jim Nicholson as its chairman. Meanwhile, an announcement is expected by next month from Democrats, who have identified Los Angeles as the leading candidate for their convention. Boston and Denver are also being considered.

The House Republican leadership chose Rep. Roy Blunt, a two-term congressman from Missouri, to be chief deputy to majority whip Tom DeLay of Texas. Blunt will take over the job vacated by Rep. Denny Hastert of Illinois, who this month became House Speaker.

Actor Dustin Hoffman was awarded a $1.5 million judgment against a magazine that printed a computer-generated image of him wearing a dress. In Los Angeles, US district Judge Dickran Tevrizian said Los Angeles magazine had trampled on the rights of Hoffman - who starred as a cross-dresser in the movie "Tootsie." The monthly, owned by Disney unit ABC Inc., vowed to appeal.