News In Brief

Before leading a memorial service for the 17 sailors killed in last week's bombing of the USS Cole, President Clinton met privately with family members and some of the ship's survivors. About 5,000 people were expected to attend the service at the Navy base in Norfolk, Va. Meanwhile, officials announced that FBI Director Louis Freeh would go to Yemen to oversee the investigation into the bombing.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was below 10000 for the first time since March 15 as the Monitor went to press. At one point in early trading Wednesday, the index had dipped more than 400 points, at least partly because of a disappointing financial report from IBM. But bargain-hunters appeared to be recovering much of the losses.

George W. Bush and Al Gore headed to swing states in the Midwest, as the presidential campaign entered the closing stretch following the final debate. In Tuesday's matchup in St. Louis, Gore took the offensive on such issues as healthcare, education, and taxes. Bush (l.) tried to portray himself as a unifier between Republicans and Democrats. Many analysts gave the edge to Gore; public-opinion polls indicated either a slight favoring of Gore or a draw.

The 45.2 million Americans receiving Social Security benefits will see their checks grow by 3.5 percent next year, the biggest cost-of-living increase since 1992. Social Security made the announcement - which translates into an average increase of $29 a month for retirees - in view of a report that inflation has picked up speed. The Labor Department said the consumer price index, the government's most closely watched inflation gauge, jumped 0.5 percent in September, largely because of high energy costs.

Los Angeles bus and subway drivers headed back to work, ending a month-long strike that virtually shut down the city's public transportation system and stranded 450,000 commuters. The drivers, members of the United Transportation Union, voted overwhelmingly to accept a new three-year contract calling for pay increases up to 9.3 percent, improved pension plans, and permission for the Metropolitan Transit Authority to add more than 350 full- and part-time drivers.

The first "Subway Series" in 44 years became a reality when the New York Yankees secured a berth along with the New York Mets in Major League Baseball's fall classic. The Yankees won the American League pennant with a come-from-behind 9-7 victory over the Seattle Mariners Tuesday night. The Mets won the National League title a night earlier, knocking off the St. Louis Cardinals in five games. The best-of-seven World Series opens Saturday night in Yankees Stadium.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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