News In Brief

President Clinton welcomed suspension of the air war in Kosovo, saying NATO had achieved its goals but was ready to resume the bombing if necessary. A force of 7,000 US troops is to patrol a section of southeastern Kosovo to help maintain the peace. Meanwhile, the Pentagon said reconnaissance photographs indicate Serb troops tried in recent weeks to hide the site of a massacre in west-central Kosovo.

The Supreme Court struck down a Chicago law aimed at preventing street-gang members and their friends from hanging out in public. The 6-to-3 ruling was seen limiting communities' options in battling problems caused by street gangs. The justices also limited the use of out-of-court statements as evidence in criminal trials. In a ruling that revived a Virginia death-row inmate's challenge of his conviction, the justices made it harder for prosecutors to use as evidence the earlier confession of an alleged accomplice who admitted some wrongdoing but pinned the primary blame on the defendant.

A series of measures to counter alleged Chinese espionage passed the House with little or no opposition. They are designed, among other things, to tighten security at nuclear laboratories, set up counter-intelligence programs at the labs, and bolster technology export controls. Meanwhile, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson turned over to his inspector general an internal review of the China-espionage case, delaying for at least 30 days release of a report expected to fault some department officials.

The Internal Revenue Service has decided the Christian Coalition is not entitled to tax-exempt status, according to officials close to the group. They said the agency first denied the coalition tax-exempt status last year, but did not then make the ruling public pending an appeal.

Texas Gov. George W. Bush is to take his presidential-campaign outside the state for the first time tomorrow. Advisers said a visit to Iowa Saturday and New Hampshire Monday would feature a defiant defense of Bush's "compassionate conservatism."

The Defense Department conducted the first successful test of the THAAD antimissile defense system after six successive failures. Pentagon officials said the Theater High-Altitude Area Defense rocket, being developed by Lockheed Martin Corp., tracked and hit a Hera rocket over the White Sands, N.M., test range. More than $3 billion has been spent on the THAAD system since 1992.

The Federal Election Commission voted unanimously to allow presidential candidates who take credit-card donations on Web sites to qualify for federal matching dollars. Barring disapproval from the Congress or the president, the new regulations would take effect in a few months.

The House voted to block funding for a permanent US military force in Haiti after the end of the year. About 500 US soldiers remain stationed in Haiti on a humanitarian mission, remnants of a 20,000-strong invasion force that replaced a military regime in 1994.

Clinton ordered a study on "racial profiling" and directed federal law-enforcement officials to track the race, gender, and ethnicity of people stopped for pedestrian and traffic violations, those inspected at US borders, and other people subject to searches - and then make recommendations on possible policy improvements.

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