News In Brief

The Senate and House budget committees will move quickly to draw up a Republican spending and tax blueprint that differs considerably from President Clinton's 2001 proposals, Sen. Pete Domenici (R) of New Mexico and Rep. John Kasich (R) of Ohio, the respective chairmen, said. Clinton characterized his plan as a balanced approach that addresses pressing needs such as lack of heath care, pays down the federal debt, and offers targeted tax relief. Some GOP members of Congress, who contend that Clinton's proposal serves up campaign issues for Democrats, countered that voters want less government and bigger tax increases.

A plumbing leak that caused heat-seeking sensors to fail foiled last month's test of an interceptor that is central to the effort to develop a national missile-defense system, The Washington Post reported, citing unnamed defense officials. Because of the failure, the next test has been delayed until an unspecified date in late May, the newspaper said. But the quoted officials also said almost everything else went right during the test, including the first-time use of satellites and ground-based tracking radar.

As scientific research edges toward the possibility of doctors predicting the medical futures of their patients, Clinton planned to sign an executive order barring federal agencies from discriminating against civilian employees on the basis of genetic tests. The order also would restrict the agencies' ability to process family medical histories. In addition, Clinton was expected to pledge support for a congressional bill that would extend protections to the general public.

Yahoo, one of the most visited and reliable sites on the Internet, was largely inaccessible for three hours after an apparent series of attacks on its computers. It appeared someone bombarded Yahoo's servers with fake messages, jamming them and preventing users from accessing requested information, a company spokeswoman said. But none of Yahoo's internal data or personal-computer information had been compromised, the company added. The source of the apparent attack has not been determined.

Authorities investigating drug trafficking seized almost 1-1/2 tons of cocaine from Haitian ships docked along the Miami River during the past week and a half. The drugs have a street value of $23 million and were thought to have originated in Colombia. No arrests have been made, but an FBI special agent said they were investigating a tie to Fouana Jean-Louis, a woman indicted in Haiti for alleged drug smuggling. Haiti has become known as a "transshipment point" for trafficking between other nations and the US.

A group of class-action lawyers planned to file an antitrust suit in federal court in Washington accusing major US cigarette-makers of illegally fixing prices since the 1980s, The Wall Street Journal reported. The suit initially would be brought on behalf of two wholesalers, and the lawyers are asking to represent all distributors whose business may have been damaged by the alleged price-fixing.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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