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The atlanta day-trader massacre brought fresh attention to unfinished gun legislation in Congress. The House took a long-delayed step toward possible new gun controls Friday, appointing "conferees" to work out vast differences between House and Senate juvenile-crime bills. On Thursday, Mark Barton, a troubled trader, fired randomly at clients and employees in two Atlanta brokerage firms. Nine died and 13 were wounded in the incident, after which Barton committed suicide. It was later learned that he had also killed his wife and two children.

Even before the Atlanta shootings, a new poll indicated more than three-quarters of Americans favor mandatory handgun registration. In a Time/CNN survey of 1,017 adults, 39 percent said they had a gun, down from 48 percent in a December 1993 poll. Seventy-six percent supported having the US government require owners to register handguns. Stricter gun controls were favored by 61 percent; 36 percent were opposed.

Congressional Republicans said they hoped to reconcile House and Senate tax-cut bills by the end of the week - but will probably wait until after an August recess to present the resulting proposal to President Clinton. After GOP senators pushed through a $792 billion tax-cut package Friday, the president again said he would veto either of the GOP proposals on grounds they are too big, would take away money from Social Security and other programs, and put the nation's economic stability at risk.

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Linda Tripp was indicted on two counts of violating Maryland wiretap laws. Tripp, whose taped conversations with Monica Lewinsky eventually led to Clinton's impeachment, was accused of illegally taping phone conversations with Lewinsky without the former White House intern's permission and with disclosing the content of those conversations to Newsweek magazine.

Paula Jones's law firm said it won't appeal the more than $79,999 it was awarded for fees incurred as a result of Clinton's false testimony about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. The decision by the Dallas-based firm not to seek additional fee compensation all but wraps up the Jones dispute with Clinton, who said he was willing to comply with a district-court order issued in Little Rock, Ark., by Judge Susan Webber Wright. The Virginia-based Rutherford Institute, which also worked for Jones, is expected to decide this week whether to appeal its $9,485 award.

The Environmental Protection Agency was expected to announce today strict new limits on two pesticides commonly used on apples, peaches, wheat, rice, and cotton. Both methyl parathion and azenphos methyl were developed from World War II research into nerve-gas weapons. Environmental groups have vowed to file a lawsuit against the EPA today to force the agency to move faster in limiting use of related chemicals. The agency must complete its review of 3,000 pesticides this week. Some 6,000 others are awaiting action.

Pushed almost to extinction 25 years ago, the white-necked Aleutian Canada goose has recovered enough to be removed from the US list of threatened species, the Fish and Wildlife Service said. The estimated population of the birds - now found in Alaska, California, and the Pacific Northwest - was only 790 in 1975. Biologists couldn't find any of them from 1938 until 1962, when a remnant population was discovered on a western Aleutian island. Scientists say they now number about 32,000.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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