News In Brief

President Clinton had until today to respond to a formal summons served by the Senate concerning obstruction-of-justice and perjury charges. His impeachment trial is to officially open Wednesday. The compromise the Senate reached Friday behind closed doors is likely to delay for about two weeks a showdown over whether witnesses will be called. Meanwhile, the White House said the president intends to go ahead with his scheduled Jan. 19 State of the Union address.

Congresses and administrations failed for a decade to fund the security that might have prevented bombings at two embassies in Africa last year, a joint report by two Accountability Review Boards said. The remedy is to spend about $1.4 billion a year for the next 10 years to make US embassies safer - and to make security a much higher priority in diplomats' thinking, according to the report. It was submitted by retired Adm. William Crowe, chairman of the boards.

The US will increase the number of warplanes patrolling "no fly" zones over Iraq, Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni reported. He said he had asked for another eight F-16 C-J fighter jets and four more tankers to refuel planes in flight. Meanwhile, the Pentagon doubled its estimate of damage inflicted during US- British airstrikes Dec. 16-19, saying they set Iraq's weapons program back two years and killed 600 to 2,000 Iraqi Republican Guard members, including some key leaders.

Former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander formed an exploratory committee for seeking the presidency in 2000. He is the third Republican to formally establish a committee for the campaign, following Arizona Sen. John McCain and New Hampshire Sen. Bob Smith. Meanwhile, Sen. Paul Wellstone, a liberal Democrat from Minnesota, said he won't run in 2000 because of a back condition that will not allow him to endure such a campaign and still represent constituents well.

An appeals court reversed a decision making it illegal for US prosecutors to offer leniency in exchange for the testimony of cooperating witnesses. The ruling came in Denver on a 9-to-3 vote of the full Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. It said an earlier ruling by a three-judge panel of the court that the practice amounted to bribery was "patently absurd." The main issue: whether a federal antibribery law applies to US prosecutors.

The top two executives of Salt Lake City's Olympic organizing committee resigned amid disclosures that civic boosters had given cash - in one case, more than $70,000 - to members of the International Olympic Committee, which selects host cities. In 1995, the IOC awarded the 2002 Winter Games to Salt Lake City.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service said it had deported a record 171,154 foreigners during the fiscal year that ended in September - up 50 percent from a 1997 record of 114,386. The 1998 figure doesn't include some 1.5 million illegal immigrants apprehended at US borders and immediately turned back.

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