MOMENTUM SHIFTING ON CRIME BILL Momentum is shifting toward passage of a troubled anticrime bill and Vice President Al Gore Jr. yesterday promised some compromises aimed at winning over Republican support. Scrambling to avert a major legislative setback, President Clinton and House Democratic leaders patched together changes in the $33 billion legislation. At least four members said they would consider switching their votes and House Republicans emerged from a White House meeting Tuesday night sounding optimistic about a compromise. House Republican whip Newt Gingrich of Georgia predicted final action on a crime bill ``before we leave town.'' House Speaker Thomas Foley was equally upbeat: ``It will be passed,'' he said. Senate moves on health care

The US Senate broke a week-long logjam over health care Tuesday, approving the first amendment to a massive Democratic reform bill and averting the threat of around-the-clock sessions. After five days of debate on a two-page amendment by Sen. Christopher Dodd (D) of Connecticut, the Senate voted 55 to 42 to expand coverage for children and pregnant women. Even as the vote was occurring, 20 or more senators were working behind the scenes to fashion a bipartisan compromise aimed at forcing major changes in majority leader George Mitchell's 1,443-page bill. Altman decides to resign

Deputy Treasury Secretary Roger Altman, accused of misleading Congress with his Whitewater testimony, has decided to resign, a Clinton administration official said yesterday. Mr. Altman, a former Wall Street investment banker, is a close friend of President Clinton's from their days at Georgetown University. He was a star in the administration last year when he helped steer the president's budget reduction through Congress. Unrest in Lesotho

Angry that the king dissolved the elected government, thousands of people protested yesterday in front of the royal palace in Lesotho. The violence in Lesotho, a small independent state surrounded by South Africa, began after supporters of the ousted government began throwing stones. Sri Lanka election

An alliance of socialist parties won national elections on yesterday, but failed to win enough seats to take over Parliament outright. The five-party Peoples' Alliance won 105 of the 225 seats in Parliament, and the United National Party, which has ruled Sri Lanka for 17 years, won 94 seats. Alaska governor to retire

Maverick Gov. Walter Hickel ended months of speculation and announced that he won't seek a third term as governor of Alaska.

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