News In Brief

The high-flying US economy, for which the Federal Reserve has sought a soft landing, grew at its slowest pace in four years during the third quarter, the Commerce Department reported. It said gross domestic product - the total output of goods and services - advanced at an annual rate of 2.4 percent, down from the 2.7 percent estimated a month ago. The low figure was blamed on a bigger trade deficit than originally assessed, less business investment, and a smaller buildup in business inventories. But the slower growth appeared to be having the desired effect on inflation. Prices rose at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the third quarter - the best showing this year.

Ahead of tomorrow's US Supreme Court hearing, legal teams for George W. Bush and Al Gore filed briefs relating to the appointment of Florida's contested presidential electors and the legality of the state's manual recount of votes. Bush's side argued that lower-court challenges to the election result threaten to drag out the process. State courts, they said, improperly extended the deadline for the hand recounts. The Gore side maintained that Florida courts have interpreted correctly the laws governing the recounts. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court said it would make audio tape of the hearing available "on an expedited basis."

The popular prescription treatment Lotronex became the seventh banned drug that the Food and Drug Administration has had to deal with in 2-1/2 years. Manufacturer Glaxo Wellcome Inc. withdrew the medication, which was developed for women diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome. Reports had linked Lotronex to severe side effects and at least eight deaths.

Army officials planned to meet tomorrow with Colorado Gov. Bill Owens (R) to discuss the disposal of canisters that are believed to contain deadly nerve gas and were found at a defunct chemical weapons site near Denver. The Army, which has been conducting cleanup operations at the site, has found six grapefruit-sized bombs since Oct. 16. Three have been confirmed to contain sarin, an arsenal spokeswoman said.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum unveiled plans for an $800 million, 40-story complex on New York's waterfront that could serve as the institution's headquarters. The Guggenheim's modern art collection currently is housed in a landmark building in Manhattan designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, and plans call for that facility to continue to house some works.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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