News In Brief

The Supreme Court ruled that public-sector employees who agree to take extra time off instead of collecting overtime pay can be forced to use it at their employer's convenience. The 6-to-3 decision, in a case from Houston, is an interpretation of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. In other actions, the court left intact a ruling that says Internet service providers aren't legally and financially liable when someone is defamed in an e-mail or bulletin posting. The ruling addressed the complaint of a New York boy whose name was used by an imposter to post several vulgar messages.

The Supreme Court also agreed to clarify whether police can prevent residents from entering their own homes unescorted while officers are seeking a search warrant. The court said it will hear an Illinois case in which such circumstances came to pass after it became apparent marijuana was in a residence.

In his first major foreign-policy address as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Al Gore broadly described an agenda that would include the possibility of limited interventions when there isn't a direct US interest. He also indicated he would treat Russia and China as "vital partners" in working on global concerns. The vice president's speech, made in Boston, took aim at his rival, Gov. George W. Bush, whom he accused of being "stuck in a cold-war mind-set."

Gore also held a meeting in Washington with John McCain - more than a week before the Arizona GOP senator, who suspended his presidential campaign in March, is scheduled to confer with Bush. In a separate appearance, McCain said he will endorse Bush for president even if they don't agree on campaign-finance reform.

Pat Buchanan, the likely Reform Party nominee for president, won't attempt to force the party to include his conservative stands on abortion and other social issues in its platform, The Washington Post reported, citing party leaders. Instead, the newspaper said, Buchanan may send out an "open letter" on "culture war" issues. The Reform platform currently focuses on trade, immigration, and foreign policy, party leaders said.

Hoping to build on recent political victories won by homosexuals, at least 200,000 gay-rights supporters rallied outside the US Capitol Sunday. Organizers of the Millennium March for Equality promoted legislation against hate crimes and tried to mobilize the crowd into an important voting bloc for the November elections.

The Clinton administration announced it has drawn up plans to bring a US tax system affecting hundreds of billions of dollars worth of exports into line with World Trade Organization rules. Details weren't disclosed, but business sources expected the plan - which is to be reviewed today in Brussels - to feature an indirect tax scheme similar to one used in Europe. A WTO panel ruled earlier this year that the US Foreign Sales Corporations tax-break system violated global free-trade rules.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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