News In Brief

The US worked for months to help Turkey arrest Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, federal officials acknowledged in response to press reports. They said intelligence and law-enforcement officers probing the bombing of the US Embassy in Kenya, discovered that Ocalan was staying in the Greek Embassy there and monitored his phone conversations. The US has insisted it had no "direct involvement" in his arrest, which triggered massive Kurdish protests across Europe.

Sen. Richard Bryan (D) of Nevada said he would not seek a third term. His surprise announcement - coming on the heals of similar declarations by Democrats Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey - dims the prospects of Democrats returning to power in the Senate in 2000. Republicans, who hold a 55-to-45 majority, will defend 19 Senate seats next year; Democrats 14.

The Justice Department said it was weighing whether an outside lawyer should investigate independent counsel Kenneth Starr's inquiry into the president's relationship with Monica Lewinsky. Department officials notified Starr earlier this month of their plans to launch an inquiry, but Starr objected and proposed that one be conducted outside the Justice Department, a position supported by congressional Republicans.

The nation's governors made bipartisan pleas for a post-impeachment peace between President Clinton and the GOP-led Congress. At the opening of a National Governors' Association meeting in Washington, they said Clinton and Congress must set aside mutual animosity and work together on such matters as upgrading schools and safeguarding Social Security.

The head of the GOP Governors Association endorsed George W. Bush of Texas for the party's 2000 presidential nomination. Oklahoma's Frank Keating made the commitment to Governor Bush, who has not declared his candidacy, on CNN and at the governors' meeting.

The Federal Election Commission decided not to take publisher Steve Forbes to court over whether his magazine column was an illegal contribution to his 1996 presidential campaign. The FEC had filed a suit against Forbes in August 1998. But David Mason, a GOP member of the commission, said the appointment of two new Republican commissioners and one new Democrat had altered the agency's view of the case.

Clinton gave a posthumous pardon to Lt. Henry Flipper, a former slave who became the Army's first black commissioned officer and was dishonorably discharged on a racially motivated charge in 1882. Flipper's descendants witnessed the pardon, which formally erases the stain of his court-martial conviction for conduct unbecoming an officer.

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