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Ballot counters in Florida's Palm Beach County were racing to meet their deadline for certification in the disputed presidential race. They had until 5 p.m. to turn in the results of their hand recount to Florida's secretary of state. Broward County finished its hand recount late Saturday, with Vice President Gore picking up about 430 votes. But he still trailed George W. Bush by 464 votes. Dade, the state's most populous county, quit its recount of about 650,000 ballots last Wednesday, convinced it couldn't meet the deadline.

Gore was making tentative plans for a speech today to explain why he's prepared to contest certification in Florida regardless of the outcome, a senior aide said. Meanwhile protesters on both sides, engaged in increasingly vociferous demonstrations over the recount.

The US Supreme Court agreed to hear oral arguments Friday from the Bush campaign, which petitioned the justices, along with the Republican-controlled Florida legislature, to throw out all manual recounts of presidential ballots. Bush claims the Florida Supreme Court overstepped its authority by allowing hand recounts to continue. In related developments, Bush representatives dropped a statewide suit to force the counting of absentee military ballots but filed lawsuits in five counties to force a review.

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North Korea denounced the US for delays in constuction of two nuclear power plants, which the communist nation claims were promised in a deal struck in 1994. The $4.6 billion project, undertaken by an American-led international consortium, was intended to freeze Pyongyang's nuclear weapons development. The project was supposed to be finished by 2003 but will take several more years to provide badly needed electricity.

Roughly a week into a Seattle newspaper strike, a federal mediator said he'd meet separately with officials of the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild and officials of the Times and Post-Intelligencer, which operate under a joint agreement. The opposing sides could return to the bargaining table if either appears ready to negotiate. The papers have been publishing with temporary and on-loan workers during the salary dispute.

Microsoft Corp. indicated it will continue to fight an antitrust ruling that calls for its breakup when it files a brief today with the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The software giant hoped to show that Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson was biased in his finding that it engaged in monopolistic marketing practices.

A dispute between the US and the European Union was blamed for the collapse of talks at a global warming conference at The Hague. The dispute centered on a US plan to allow developed nations to count carbon dioxide soaked up by rain forests against targets set in 1997 for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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