News In Brief

Vice President Al Gore extended his winning streak to three states as he defeated Democrat Bill Bradley in Delaware's nonbinding presidential primary. Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain of Arizona has pulled into a statistical draw with Texas Gov. George W. Bush in South Carolina, site of the next big Republican contest, a Time/CNN survey reported. But a nationwide Newsweek poll showed that although McCain has surged, he still lags far behind Bush. The Republican field narrowed Friday when Gary Bauer dropped out.

President Clinton was to offer his last federal budget to Congress today, calling for total spending of $1.84 trillion in fiscal 2001, slightly more than last year. The plan would bolster education and cut taxes for the poor. It also would spend $168 billion over 10 years to create prescription-drug benefits for the elderly while boosting defense and farm subsidies. The budget projects surplus revenues outside the Social Security trust fund of more than $750 billion over 10 years, which Clinton proposes to use to pay down the national debt of $3.6 trillion by 2013.

In a first for a first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton was to announce formally her candidacy for a US Senate seat from New York. But various public-opinion surveys showed her trailing her likely Republican opponent, New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, by up to 10 points.

Miami relatives of Cuban shipwreck survivor Elian Gonzalez want to meet with Attorney General Janet Reno to present what they view as fresh facts to bolster their argument the boy should stay in the US. The Immigration and Naturalization Service has ruled Elian should return to his Cuban father, but relatives have sought to block that by filing a federal suit. Although they did not specify what the new information was, the relatives complained last week to police about an incident they considered "shocking" when Elian and his grandmothers met last month. The request was still being considered.

The US is not "even modestly prepared" for an attack by terrorists using the smallpox or anthrax viruses, which is "likely" to happen in "the next five to 10 years," bioterrorism experts told a conference in San Diego. It was attended by more than 300 physicians, scientists, and law-enforcement agents, who discussed how to combat such attacks. Russia, North Korea, and Iraq all are suspected of stockpiling biological weapons, they said, while fringe groups already have issued biological-weapons threats. But experts urged Americans not to panic, saying the US is mobilizing against bioterrorism much more now than a year ago.

A $1.5 billion plan to overhaul Chicago's crime- and drug-ridden public housing was OK'd by federal officials, ending months of wrangling over how to improve one of the worst low-income systems in the US. It calls for tearing down 51 dilapidated high-rises, including the Robert Taylor homes, a densely populated complex where gangs and unemployment are common. Chicago wants to replace the high-rises with row houses and low-rise buildings, preferably in mixed-income neighborhoods. Some 24,000 units would be renovated or rebuilt.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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