News In Brief

A spokeswoman for the Littleton, Colo., school district declined comment on a report that the two high school students who went on a shooting spree Tuesday made a video for a class last fall that portrayed them in trench coats, shooting athletes as they walked down a hallway in the school. A student who helped them produce videos said he turned over several copies to police after the shooting. Meanwhile, public memorial services were scheduled for Sunday in Littleton and May 2 in Denver for the 15 shooting victims. President Clinton said either he or Vice President Al Gore would attend the Denver service.

The National Rifle Association scaled back its annual meeting in Denver in sympathy for the victims in nearby Littleton and their families. The NRA, which vigorously defends the right to bear arms, had scheduled the gathering to begin April 30. It will now be limited to the following day. Plans for a gun show and a number of seminars were cancelled.

A new public-opinion poll set Clinton's job-approval rating at 56 percent, the weakest in about two years. It has been in the low 60s much of the past year. The Pew Research Center survey traced the decline to a growing concern about the conflict in the Balkans.

Kosovo refugees will be allowed into the US - not sent to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba - Gore announced. The administration had planned to house up to 20,000 ethnic Albanians at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, but the plan was scrapped after the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and others said refugees would suffer in its confined and tropical conditions. Under the policy reversal, homeless Kosovar Albanians will be allowed to stay with relatives already living in the US.

Congress passed a bipartisan bill that will give school districts more leeway in how they spend up to $11 billion a year in federal funds. The president is expected to sign the "ed flex" measure. An amendment that would have watered down his initiative to add 100,000 teachers nationwide was dropped during House-Senate negotiations earlier this month.

Conservative activist Gary Bauer formally entered the 2000 presidential race. Bauer, a Republican who served in the Reagan White House, told students in his Newport, Ky., hometown that the slayings in Littleton, Colo., prove "something is wrong in America" that only a moral reawakening can fix.

A California poll found almost nine in 10 people endorsing "passive euthanasia," which would grant terminally ill patients the right to refuse medical aid and allow their families to turn off life-support systems. Also, seven of 10 respondents to pollster Mark DiCamillo's survey supported "active euthanasia," which would allow patients to receive life-ending medication and permit doctors to assist them. The poll was released a day after a bill allowing physician-assisted suicide narrowly passed the state Assembly's Judiciary Committee.

Cigarette billboards had to be removed from US highways by today under an accord with tobacco companies that allows states to take over billboard leases held by tobacco firms and put up antismoking ads at the companies' expense.

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