News In Brief

Senate Republicans were expected to muster party-line majorities to defeat a motion to dismiss the impeachment case and to approve a bid to depose witnesses. But it seemed likely the balloting would also demonstrate the Democrats' ability to block the two-thirds majority needed to remove President Clinton from office. Majority leader Trent Lott reportedly won over some wavering Republicans on the witness issue after House prosecutors restricted the witness list to former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, Washington attorney Vernon Jordan, and White House aide Sidney Blumenthal.

House majority leader Dick Armey called for a sweeping 10 percent tax cut. The initiative would reduce individual and corporate income taxes, capital-gains taxes, and inheritance taxes - but would not affect the Social Security tax, an aide said. It was unclear whether the plan would gain support in the Senate, where GOP leaders have only proposed a 10 percent reduction in individual income taxes.

The US will use a so-called "Super 301" process to force some trade partners to reduce barriers to American exports, Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky told the Senate Finance Committee. She said a Super 301 review will begin March 31 with the posting of a country-by-country accounting of trade barriers. A month later, a list of targeted countries will be released, kicking off 90 days of intense negotiations. Many nations resent such bilateral diplomacy, preferring instead to have trade disputes settled through a neutral body, such as the Geneva-based World Trade Organization.

Billionaire magazine publisher Steve Forbes said he was "leaning toward" running for the presidency - and will reveal his decision in the next few weeks. Forbes said he expects more than 10 others to compete for the GOP nomination. Meanwhile, former Vice President Dan Quayle (R) of Indiana resigned from the board of Phoenix, Ariz.,-based Central Newspapers Inc. to concentrate on his own plans to run for the presidency in 2000.

A statement signed by more than 1,000 clergy people urged the US to press both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to stop violating the human rights of Palestinians. At the initiative of Search for Justice and Equality in Palestine/Israel, a Boston-based human-rights group, the statement urged Clinton to link US aid for Israel and the Palestinians to their compliance with human-rights covenants. It accused Israel of torture, confiscation of land, and collective punishment - and the Palestinian Authority of torture, secret trials, and press censorship.

Children International promised not to use the image of a child in advertising once that child's circumstances changed dramatically and he or she was no longer available for sponsorship. The group, which raises money for disadvantaged children, also agreed to give sponsors more information about what a child actually receives in exchange for a sponsor's donations. The Missouri state attorney general's office had found that emotional appeals of the Kansas City-based group often were "deceptive" in nature because they inaccurately portrayed the plight of the children being assisted.

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