Lawyers for Al Gore and George W. Bush faced off for Day 2 of a Florida hearing that's examining whether a manual recount of disputed ballots should proceed. Gore's strategists believe a recount of 13,300 votes from Palm Beach and Dade Counties would gave their candidate a victory in the state and the keys to the White House. As the hearing continued, both sides awaited a US Supreme Court decision that could determine the viability of earlier recounts. Although there was no official indication of when a ruling would be rendered, lawyers for both sides said it could come by the middle of this week.
Washington's contested vote for one of the state's US Senate seats finally was settled, as incumbent Slade Gorton (R) conceded the race to Internet millionaire Maria Cantwell (D) Friday. The results of a recount showed Cantwell won by 2,259 votes out of almost 2.5 million cast. Her victory creates the possibility of a 50-50 tie in the new Senate, but the final apportionment won't be known until the Connecticut seat won by Joseph Lieberman, who is also the Democratic vice presidential candidate, is resolved.
Congress is to reconvene tomorrow to try to finish the long-overdue federal budget. Republican leaders were called on by President Clinton, in his weekly radio address, to make education funding their "first order" of business. Bipartisan bargainers earlier had agreed to a record $7.9 billion increase for schools, but it was rejected by House GOP leaders.
The shuttle Endeavour docked Saturday with the International Space Station, setting the stage for the attachment of a solar-power system that will boost the electrical output of the station fivefold. The system includes two panels that will compose the largest structure deployed in space to date, stretching 240 feet.
Seattle's police chief defended his forces, who arrested 140 demonstrators marking the first anniversary of raucous World Trade Organization protests. Officers indicated they took action after two of them were injured by thrown objects and a group of protesters refused to disperse. Five of those detained were charged with felonies. Protest leaders blamed police for the violence, saying the officers used an individual attack as an excuse to crack down on what had been a peaceful crowd numbering about 2,000 at one point. In terms of property damage, police reported only minor problems - a marked contrast to the $3 million the city sustained last year.
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