News In Brief

After meeting with European leaders in Lisbon, Portugal, President Clinton said he is willing to share technology for limited nuclear missile defense with other "civilized nations." It would be "unethical," he said, for the US to keep such technology to itself. European allies have been skeptical of a national missile defense, whose future Clinton said he still hasn't decided. Later this week the president is to go to Moscow, where he'll make the case for amending an arms-control treaty to accommodate the defense system, he said. Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed opposition to amending the treaty.

In a sign that the Federal Reserve's higher interest rates may be beginning to slow the economy, sales of new homes tumbled 5.8 percent to an annual rate of 909,000 in April, the Commerce Department reported. The index of leading economic indicators also declined in April, by 0.1 percent, the New York-based Conference Board said.

Clearing the way for greater media conglomeration, the Federal Communications Commission proposed softening bans on network television mergers and common local broadcast and newspaper ownership. Under the modifications, which are subject to further review, ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC would remain ineligible to merge with one another, but they could acquire a so-called emerging network such as WB. CBS likely would do that to keep UPN in its merger with Viacom Inc. Industry executives said the moves fall short of repealing outdated rules.

Scientists will test two of the nation's most popular diets - low-carbohydrate and low-fat - for effectiveness and safety, Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman announced. He postulated that there isn't enough research on the regimens to counter claims made by their promoters. Glickman made the announcement at the National Nutrition Summit in Washington that is focusing on obesity.

A federal jury found a US immigration official guilty of violating the Espionage Act by passing classified information to a Cuban business partner. Mariano Faget, who came from Cuba as a teenager, could face as many as six or 10 years in prison, conflicting reports said. Faget was caught in a sting operation earlier this year in which, after being told a false tale about a impending defection, he called a lifelong friend with the information, the FBI claimed.

In accepting the endorsement of the environmental League of Conservation Voters, Al Gore vowed to shield forests from new road building, logging, and other "destructive development." The vice president's appearance in Milwaukee was geared to project a more positive tone, following complaints that his campaign's attacks on George W. Bush were backfiring with voters.

New York Republicans formally nominated US Rep. Rick Lazio as their Senate candidate. Despite entering the race little known, Lazio now trails his Democratic opponent, Hillary Rodham Clinton, by as few as 2 percentage points in some polls.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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