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A 7,000-strong us peacekeeping force will be fully deployed in Kosovo by late July, said Army Brig. Gen. John Craddock, commander of American forces patrolling the Serb province. As of Wednesday, there were about 4,500 American troops there. They are part of a 50,000-strong peacekeeping force commanded by NATO.

The House approved $45 billion for highways, airports, and other transportation programs next year. With virtually all congressional districts sharing in the federal transportation funding, House conservatives who originally called for slashing more than $500 million agreed to smaller reductions to pass the bill. The resulting compromise - including relatively painless cuts in aviation funds not obligated for programs next year anyway - passed on a 429-to-3 vote.

The American Medical Association approved the formation of a national union of doctors to give them more leverage with managed-care companies. A national union would support the creation of local bargaining units for doctors who work full-time for health-maintenance organizations or hospitals. They had already been forming local unions. Federal law bars doctors who are not employees from forming unions in the traditional sense.

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President Clinton will turn his attention to domestic issues in a speech today at Georgetown University, his first public appearance since returning from a week-long trip to Europe. A White House spokesman said Clinton would reopen campaigns to overhaul Social Security and Medicare, raise the minimum wage, tighten gun controls, adopt a patients' bill of rights, and revive economically depressed communities.

Republican presidential contenders were invited to stage their first debate of the campaign in Alabama. State GOP chairman Winton Blount sent letters to each of the candidates, outlining tentative rules for a debate to be held Aug. 27, the night before Alabama's first GOP straw poll.

Independent counsel Kenneth Starr has listed Hillary Rodham Clinton, the first lady, as a potential witness at the trial of her former law partner Webster Hubbell, officials familiar with the case said. They did not know whether she would actually be called. Hubbell is scheduled to go on trial Aug. 9 on charges that he lied to conceal the work he and Mrs. Clinton did in connection with a failed Arkansas land development.

Three boys have been charged with plotting to kill students and teachers at their northern California school, police said. Apparently inspired by the Columbine High School shootings in Colorado, the boys - age 12 and 13 - were charged with criminal conspiracy after an inquiry turned up lists of potential targets and plans to build pipe bombs and steal guns from neighbors in Paradise, Calif. They were released to the custody of their parents.

Schools and libraries receiving US funds for Internet connections would be required to install software to block out pornography under a measure approved by the Senate Commerce Committee. Leading education and library groups have criticized the unfunded requirement for ignoring the many ways communities are dealing with pornography. The measure is similar to one included in a juvenile-justice bill approved by the House last week.

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