News In Brief
Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin tried to clear up the confusion over Russia's role in postwar Kosovo. The two leaders talked by telephone in a follow-up to an hour-long conversation Sunday. US officials are concerned that Russia's surprise decision to send in troops without coordinating with NATO could undermine efforts to evenhandedly empty the province of Serb troops and secure the return of ethnic Albanians to their villages.
Most Americans see the Kosovo peace deal as a win for Clinton, a Newsweek survey indicated. In the poll, 53 percent of respondents called it a victory for Clinton and NATO; 15 percent said Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic won. Fifty-seven percent approved of Clinton's management of the conflict, up from 44 percent a month ago. Still, the 52 percent approval of the president's job performance was about the same as the preceding month.
A federal effort to protect compulsive gamblers was struck down by the Supreme Court. The justices unanimously ruled that a ban on TV and radio advertising for casinos violates free-speech rights. The ban had only affected certain regions of the country because some appeals courts ruled it unconstitutional while others upheld it. The Supreme Court ruling was sparked by an appeal on behalf of broadcasters in the New Orleans area.
In other actions, the high court: -- Agreed to decide whether computers and teaching materials other than textbooks paid for with taxpayer money can be provided to religious schools. -- Refused to spare Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry and other antiabortion activists nearly $600,000 in fines and fees resulting from a campaign to block New York City-area abortion clinics a decade ago. -- Agreed 5 to 4 that federal law allows the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to require US agencies to pay damages to reimburse workers for harm such as emotional stress. -- Refused to scuttle an investigation aimed at determining whether Columbia Union College - a Takoma Park, Md., school affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church - is so "pervasively sectarian" that it is ineligible for any direct public aid.
Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson donated $1 million to the conservative religious organization last year, Newsweek reported. The magazine, quoting unidentified sources, said Robertson has been taking a more hands-on approach to the group he formed in 1989. The coalition has decided not to contest a ruling by the Internal Revenue Service that some of its activities are too partisan for it to enjoy tax-exempt status. Coalition officials estimate it will owe the IRS $300,000 to $400,000 in back taxes. Newsweek estimated the coalition debt at $2.5 million.