News In Brief

President Clinton proposed raising taxes and other revenues by a net $46 billion through fiscal year 2004, expanding government programs by cracking down on corporate tax shelters and cashing in on a settlement between tobacco companies and US states. Ignoring GOP demands for an across-the-board tax cut, Clinton's fiscal 2000 budget would offer a stream of tightly-focused tax credits and breaks worth nearly $33 billion.

The rate of consumer savings in 1998 was only 0.5 percent - the weakest since 1933, the Commerce Department reported. That year, in the depths of the Great Depression, savings contracted by 2.1 percent. Officials said savings shrank at a 0.1 percent annual rate in December, when Americans spent heavily on costly durable goods like cars. That was a reversal from November when savings grew at a 0.1 percent rate. The department also reported that personal income rose a healthy 5 percent last year, the fourth consecutive year at or above that level. Personal income surged 0.5 percent in December, the best gain in 10 months.

Conservative GOP activist Gary Bauer said he was filing papers with the Federal Election Commission to set up a committee for exploring a run for the presidency in 2000. Bauer is a former Reagan administration official who has also headed the Christian-conservative Family Research Council.

Lawyers for Clinton accused Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr of leaking material about the impeachment case - and said they would file a motion in court that he be found in contempt. A report in Sunday's New York Times - quoting several Starr associates - said Starr had decided he has the constitutional authority to indict Clinton while he is still in the White House, although Starr had not actually made the decision to do so. Starr responded by saying his office was not the source of the story and he has not reached a conclusion on whether he has the authority to indict Clinton.

Federal Reserve officials were expected to keep interest rates unchanged during a gathering today and Wednesday in Washington. The meeting is to take two days instead of the normal one as policymakers hammer out economic forecasts for a semiannual report that Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan is to present to Congress later this month.

Defense Secretary William Cohen wants the military response to a domestic chemical or biological attack to be coordinated by a special task force, The Washington Post reported. By assigning a senior officer and a new staff the job of planning for such acts of terrorism, Pentagon officials reportedly hope to provide logistical, medical, and law-enforcement assistance to other agencies systematically. They reportedly want to present the plan to Clinton as early as this summer.

Police in riot gear used tear gas and mace to disperse crowds of Denver Broncos fans who spilled out of sports bars to celebrate the team's second straight Super Bowl win - 34-19 over the Atlanta Falcons. Police let a crowd assemble in Larimer Square for about 40 minutes before moving to clear the disturbance, which paled in comparison with last year when 30,000 fans torched cars, got into brawls, and smashed store windows in the downtown area.

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