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President Clinton approved emergency budget legislation keeping government agencies running through April 24 and raising the federal debt ceiling to $5.5 trillion. Two bipartisan measures were attached to the borrowing legislation: one boosting outside earning limits for Social Security recipients to $12,500 this year and $30,000 by 2002, and another giving small businesses new authority to challenge federal regulations in court. Clinton and Congress have set aside efforts to agree on the roughly $160-billion spending bill to fund the rest of fiscal 1996 until after the two-week recess.

A bill giving the president line-item veto power passed in the House. The Senate has already passed the measure, and Clinton says he'll sign it. But federal courts will probably have the final say. Analysts are predicting lawsuits as soon as the law goes into effect Jan. 1. Opponents say the bill allows the president to rewrite legislation after it has been passed by Congress. And the courts say it weakens the judiciary branch by making it possible for the president to veto their budget.

Congress has sent Clinton a liability-reform bill capping damages in defective-product cases - a bill he has promised to veto as damaging to consumers. While some Democrats have joined the GOP in asking Clinton to reconsider, Congress may not have enough votes to override a veto.

Richard Clark, a leader of the freemen group, surrendered voluntarily to police. Two of his fellow leaders were arrested last Monday, and the rest of the group is locked in a standoff with federal agents in Jordan, Mont. LeRoy Schweitzer, one of the arrested men, was moved to a federal health facility in Missouri because he had refused food and water since his arrest.

The Chinese government is urging Clinton to veto a bill it says contains "anti-China" clauses. The bill states that the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act has precedence over the 1982 Shanghai Communique and requires the US to supply Taiwan with arms to defend itself. Clinton said he'll veto the bill.

The space shuttle Atlantis landed safely at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The landing site was switched because of cloudy conditions at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy toward homosexuals suffered a blow. A US District Court judge ruled that firing people who are openly homosexual violates constitutional guarantees of equal protection and freedom of speech. Separately, a US District Court judge granted a 10-day temporary restraining order to stop the discharge of a lesbian sailor. The sailor has accused the Navy of violating its "don't ask, don't tell" policy by investigating rumors. Under the policy, officers can investigate only after receiving credible information.

Ten illegal immigrants jailed at Miramar Naval Air Station near San Diego set mattresses on fire to protest inadequate canteen privileges, injuring 28 people and closing the base for hours. The FBI is investigating the incident.

A sexual harassment trial against Clinton will proceed even though he's in office, a federal appeals court ruled. The president's lawyer says he will appeal to the Supreme Court.

New leaders in world and US banking will emerge after three mergers, worth a combined $60 billion, are completed. Chemical Banking Corp. is merging with Chase Manhattan Corp., creating the US's biggest bank and eliminating about 12,000 jobs. Analysts estimate that Wells Fargo and Co.'s purchase of First Interstate Bancorp will cost 10,000 jobs. And Bank of Tokyo and Mitsubishi are joining to create Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is adjusting the Consumer Price Index, the chief measuring device for inflation, down 0.1 percent starting in June. Officials were counting on double that to help balance the budget. The White House Budget Office spokesman says the smaller adjustment will mean $5 billion more than expected in federal spending in 2002.


Russian military operations in Chechnya were expected to end last night after President Yeltsin announced in a television broadcast that withdrawal of Russian troops would begin. But while unveiling his peace plan, he said anti-terrorist operations would continue. Also, Bulgarian President Zhelyu Zhelev rebuffed an offer from Yeltsin to include Bulgaria in an integration agreement signed Friday by Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.

Hizbollah guerrillas in south Lebanon threatened more rocket attacks on northern Israel if Israeli shelling targeted Lebanese civilians. The guerrillas fired some 30 rockets into central and western Galilee after Israeli bombardment killed two Lebanese civilians and wounded a child.

Muslims and Croats agreed to strengthen their troubled federation in the former Yugoslavia. They plan to implement today an agreement on a plan to impose control on warlords in the former Yugoslavia, a new customs union to finance their federation, and a flag to represent it. The federation has existed only on paper so far, but diplomats hope the negotiations will produce real progress. US Defense Secretary William Perry flew into Tuzla to visit NATO-led troops and push for federation compliance with the Dayton accord.

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia resigned and dissolved Parliament, clearing the way for a neutral authority to hold elections. She took the step under unrelenting pressure from the opposition.

As many as 90,000 Japanese demonstrated in Tokyo to oppose the presence of US military bases on Okinawa. Smaller protests took place on Okinawa and in other Japanese cities. The protesters oppose a government plan to force landowners to renew leases for the base land. The leases were expected to expire last night. Opposition to the bases intensified after the rape of an Okinawa schoolgirl last September by three United States servicemen.

Hundreds of protesters marched on Beijing's mission in Hong Kong to denounce China's heavy-handed efforts to reverse recent democratic reforms. And in Beijing, police stormed a banquet and stopped bestselling US author Amy Tan from making a speech to raise funds for Chinese orphans. A recent human rights report cited abuses in one Chinese orphanage.

Taiwan's defense minister confirmed Taiwan will hold live-fire military exercises on its frontline Matsu Islands in early April following China's recent war games in the Taiwan Strait. Also, Taiwan plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars beefing up its defenses.

The International Monetary Fund shaved its forecast for economic growth this year because of a slowdown in Europe. But it sees better times ahead in 1997. The sluggishness as temporary and is not the harbinger of a global recession, it said.

Colombian President Ernesto Samper hailed the arrest of two powerful Cali cartel drug lords, Luis Alfonso Maquilon Amaya and Juan Carlos Ortiz Escobar, and said it underscored Colombia's commitment to the fight against narcotics. Samper has rejected Washington's March 1 decision to decertify Colombia as a full-fledged partner in the worldwide battle against drugs.

Sierra Leone's military peacefully handed over power to a civilian president whose election ended four years of Army rule. Thousands of people crowded the streets around Parliament and cheered as a 21-gun salute rang out across the seaside capital of Freetown.

An earthquake in central and southern Ecuador measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale killed 21 people and left several thousand in need of food and shelter. Dozens of Indian communities south of Quito were hit hardest.


The majority opinion not only has put short pants on President William Jefferson Clinton, but also has succeeded in demeaning ... the most powerful office in the world."

-- Judge Theodore McMillian, on allowing a sexual harassment suit against Clinton to proceed while he is in office.

Kentucky defeated the University of Massachusetts 81 to 74 to win the right to face Syracuse tonight in the finals of the NCAA basketball championships. Syracuse had defeated Mississippi State 77 to 69 on Saturday.

Saving your pennies can pay off. Just ask John Tregembo of Plymouth, Mich. He has amassed more than a million pennies since 1982. His collection amounts to $10,300 and weighs 7,200 pounds. He plans to buy a pickup truck with the money.

A leading British toy store, London's Hamleys, has stopped selling toy guns following the killing in Scotland of 16 schoolchildren and their teacher earlier this month. The British opposition Labour Party has urged other stores to follow suit.

Biggest Banks

List is compiled according to asset size. (See also item in US.)


1. Chase Manhattan Corp. (after Chemical-Chase merger)

2. Citicorp

3. BankAmerica Corp.

4. NationsBank

5. J.P. Morgan and Co.


1. Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi Ltd., Japan (after merger)

2. Sanwa Bank Ltd., Japan

3. Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank Ltd., Japan

4. Fuji Bank Ltd., Japan

5. Sumitomo Bank Ltd., Japan

- Keefe, Bruyette and Woods Inc., American Banker/AP

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