News In Brief

Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin is stepping down and will be succeeded by his deputy, Lawrence Summers, the White House said. Rubin, a former investment banker, is widely credited for policies that nurtured the current economic boom. Officials said President Clinton would nominate Stuart Eizenstat as the new deputy Treasury secretary. Summers must be confirmed by the GOP-controlled Senate.

Clinton was to call for tougher penalties for the misuse of biological agents that can be used as weapons. He was also scheduled to announce $95 million in new grants to hire some 1,500 additional police officers nationwide. Republicans have accused the administration of failing to make good on a pledge to put 100,000 new officers on the street.

Republican presidential hopeful Elizabeth Dole spoke out on the issue of gun control, saying it was "wrong to let people carry concealed weapons." In a speech to a women's forum in Washington, she also called for mandatory child-safety locks on firearms. An aide said the speech was designed to draw a clear distinction between Dole and the GOP presidential front-runner, Texas Gov. George W. Bush. Bush has said he prefers keeping safety locks voluntary.

California law-enforcement agents said they found illegal weapons so easy to buy at a Great Western Gun Show in Pomona two weekends ago that they ran out of money after checking only a handful of booths. In addition, they reported witnessing the sale of handguns to people who weren't asked to wait 10 days for a background check as state law requires. Clinton has called for increased US regulation of gun shows.

Outdated rules allow tired pilots, truck drivers, and train engineers to endanger the public, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) charged. It said little has been done since it recommended 10 years ago that hours-of-service regulations be updated. The board urged the Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Highway Administration, and other agencies to establish new rules. Currently, airline pilots are restricted monthly to 100 hours, truck drivers to 250 hours, some ship operators to 360 hours, and train engineers to 432 hours, according to the NTSB.

Voters in Beverly Hills, Calif., firmly rejected a measure to require tags on fur coats indicating how the animals were killed - whether electrocuted, gassed, clubbed, or painlessly put to sleep. The proposal pitted such celebrities as Jack Lemmon and Larry King against the fashion industry in a very fashion-conscious community. With all but absentee ballots counted, about 64 percent of voters opposed the measure; about 36 percent favored it.

Fifty thousand Haitians have nine months to apply for permanent US residency under a law protecting those who fled their homeland's violent dictatorship in the early 1990s, the Immigration and Naturalization Service announced. The Refugee Immigration Fairness Act was signed into law last fall.

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