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News In Brief

By CompiledRobert KilbornLance Carden, and Ross Atkin / November 1, 1999



An EgyptAir plane with 214 people on board crashed at sea off Nantucket on a flight from New York to Cairo. Early search efforts found debris and at least one body in waters off the Massachusetts island. EgyptAir Flight 990, a Boeing 767, originated in Los Angeles and was headed for Cairo after leaving New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport. The Coast Guard said debris had been found about 60 miles south of Nantucket.

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The last, and largest, of the year's spending bills passed the House, moving Congress a step closer to a budget showdown with President Clinton. Approved on a near party-line 218-to-211 vote, the measure would fund the District of Columbia as well as education, labor, and health programs. It also includes a 0.97 percent across-the-board cut in budgets for federal agencies, something Clinton says he won't accept. Senate passage is expected early this week. The president signed a bill allowing federal agencies to operate through Nov. 5 while funding issues are resolved.

Clinton was to travel to Norway to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders at a tribute to slain Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Four years ago, Rabin was assassinated by an Israeli opponent of the Mideast peace process. Current Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat have set a February deadline for reaching a broad outline for resolving many of the thorniest peace issues so that a final accord can be reached by September 2000.

Bill Bradley narrowed Vice President Al Gore's lead in a Newsweek poll on their race for the Democratic presidential nomination. The former New Jersey senator was the favorite of 25 percent of registered Democrats or those who lean toward voting Democratic, while Gore was favored by 40 percent. In a poll a week earlier, Gore was favored by 49 percent; Bradley by 26 percent.

Rules that tighten reporting requirements on 27 dangerous chemicals were unveiled by Clinton. The new regulations, which take effect Jan. 1, cover the discharge of dioxin for the first time. The president also proposed new privacy protections for medical records. The latter were required by a 1996 law directing him to issue rules to protect electronic medical data if Congress failed to do so by August 1999. Critics say there will still be no protection for records kept on paper - and no way for consumers to seek redress if their privacy is violated.

Sen. Bob Smith of New Hampshire ended his long-shot bid for the presidency and moved toward an anticipated return to the Republican Party. Smith had run as an independent since bolting the party in July with a blistering attack that accused it of having abandoned core conservative values.

The FBI is calling the threat of violence by extremists marking the new millennium "very real," The Washington Post said. A new FBI study analyzes the potential for extremist criminal activity by individuals or domestic groups "who attach special significance to the year 2000." Citing a "volatile mix of apocalyptic religious and conspiracy theories," the report is to be discussed Wednesday at a closed-door meeting of the Interna- tional Association of Chiefs of Police in Charlotte, N.C.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society