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News In Brief

By CompiledLance Carden and Suman Bandrapalli / August 9, 1999



Financial markets were bracing for interest-rate increases to keep a sizzling economy from overheating after the Labor Department reported the nation added a surprising 310,000 jobs in July. It said the US jobless rate held steady last month at 4.3 percent, the same as it was in June. But the department also noted an acceleration in job creation from June's upwardly revised 273,000 to a pace in July that eclipsed most economists' forecasts by more than 100,000 positions. (Related story, page 1.)

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Roger Ferguson, a Federal Reserve Board member, was nominated by Clinton to be vice chairman of the board. Ferguson would be the first African-American to hold the post. If confirmed, he will replace Alice Rivlin, who stepped down in July.

President Clinton is launching a probe into whether states are excluding people from Medicaid and other health-insurance programs, The New York Times reported. It said the president was to announce during an address at a National Governors' Association meeting in St. Louis that he'll send federal officials to every state to find out why only 1.3 million children have been enrolled in a Children's Health Insurance Program set up by Congress in 1997. The Times said more than 10 million US children lack health insurance.

New York Gov. George Pataki (R) said he would support New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's expected Senate race against Hillary Rodham Clinton. Pataki had for months indicated he was backing Long Island Congressman Rick Lazio for the GOP nomination. Lazio told supporters Pataki's defection would not change his decision to pursue the seat being vacated by the retirement of Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D). None of the three potential candidates has formally announced his or her candidacy.

Clinton asked the Senate to ratify a treaty banning child-labor abuses, including slavery, prostitution, and pornography. The child-labor convention was adopted unanimously by the International Labor Organization in June. It is also intended to protect those younger than 18 from child slavery, forced labor, trafficking, debt bondage, serfdom, and exploitative work in hazardous jobs.

Some 150 Southern nationalists met in Flat Rock, N.C., to launch a new secession movement. Unlike similar ones in past, the new Southern Party claims to oppose white-supremacy ideologies. Party officials said their struggle would be a peaceful one - and they would seek to place candidates on local ballots in up to 16 states in the 2000 elections. Above, George Kalas, chairman of the party, spoke Saturday on the second day of the gathering.

Americans are spending less time doing housework - raising the possibility that some of it simply goes undone, a new study indicated. The University of Maryland report says husbands' proportion of the total amount of housekeeping has continued to climb - to about 33 percent, even though the amount of time they devote to housework has not increased in absolute terms since 1985. The study, released in Chicago during the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, says the amount of time people devote to housework has fallen steadily in the past 30 years as more and more women have joined the work force.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society