News In Brief

The senate voted down the controversial Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, 51-to-48, dealing President Clinton a major political and foreign-policy defeat. It was the first time in almost 80 years that the Senate rejected a major international treaty. Angry Democrats vowed to keep the issue alive by making it a main theme in campaigning for next year's presidential election.

The flagging presidential campaign of Al Gore received a major boost with the AFL-CIO's endorsement of his candidacy for the 2000 Democratic nomination. The AFL-CIO has 13.1 million members. But the vice president's victory was not easy; the United Auto Workers and Teamsters withheld their support, saying it was premature, while other affiliated unions abstained.

Republican presidential front-runner George W. Bush agreed to a Dec. 2 debate with his rivals in Manchester, N.H. The Texas governor has drawn heavy criticism for appearing to avoid his opponents, most recently by declining to attend an Oct. 28 "town hall" meeting at Dartmouth College. The Dec. 2 event is to be televised nationally by ABC.

In what has been called the largest antidrug operation in history, agents in 15 Caribbean Basin countries arrested 1,290 suspects, from relatively small peddlers to major distributors, the Drug Enforcement Administration said. The agency said almost 1,000 tons of cocaine were confiscated in the raids, which took place between Sept. 29 and Oct. 11.

Despite a prosperous economy, hunger - or the threat of it - remains a challenge for many American households, an Agriculture Department report said. Nationally, 9.7 households were identified as "food insecure" from 1996 to 1998 and at least 10 percent of households in 18 states and the District of Columbia are going hungry or don't have consistent access to adequate food, the study found.

The Senate passed a record $8.7 billion bailout measure to assist farmers hurt by low commodity prices and bad weather. The package is the second multibillion-dollar appropriation for farmers in as many years, and is expected to be signed by Clinton.

The biggest military-pay raise in almost two decades won first-step approval in the House. The measure, part of a $268 billion defense spending bill, passed by a 372 to 55 vote. It earmarks funds to help cover an across-the-board 4.8 percent pay hike for uniformed personnel but also would scale back the Air Force's F-22 "stealth" fighter program. Approval by the Senate also is expected.

Clinton announced an administration strategy to protect 40 million acres of remote national forestland. The timber industry opposes the action to cut off future development. But the president claims the impact on production would be minor.

The murder case of six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey appeared to end inconclusively, when a grand jury in Boulder, Colo., dismissed prosecutors and said there was not enough evidence to press charges.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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