News In Brief

President clinton was to meet with new Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at the White House in an effort to revive Mideast peace talks. The two leaders were to travel by helicopter to Camp David, Md., for additional discussions last night and today. Barak then was scheduled to spend most of tomorrow and Sunday in New York with US Jewish leaders, returning to Washington Monday for more talks with Clinton and congressional leaders.

Senate Republicans were close to passing a relatively narrow health-care package that some Democrats said they would urge the president to veto. A rival Democratic plan would cover all privately insured Americans, about 161 million people. Most of the components of the Republican proposal apply to some 48 million people enrolled in a specific type of health plan offered to workers at big businesses.

Boston school officials voted to end race-based quotas that have caused tensions for 25 years. School Superintendent Thomas Payzant said the move was prompted by a lawsuit contending quotas were unconstitutional. It was filed in June by a group of white parents. Above, black activist Cheryl Motley holds a sign protesting the change in policy.

A $864 billion reduction of income, capital-gains, and other taxes was approved by the GOP-controlled House Ways and Means Committee. New Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said the president would veto the measure if it reached his desk. Many House Republicans see the bill as the centerpiece of election-year 2000 campaigns. The House is expected to vote on the bill later this month, just as the Senate takes up a competing tax-cut proposal.

Clinton made it easier for poor working families to remain eligible for food stamps. The president issued a new guideline allowing states more freedom in setting a limit on the value of cars which food-stamp recipients can own. They were previously ineligible if they owned cars worth more than $4,650. Clinton also issued an order simplifying food-stamp reporting rules.

A California judge set bail at $1 million for Kathleen Ann Soliah, a Minnesota housewife accused of planting bombs under police cars 23 years ago while a member of the radical Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA). Soliah pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles to charges of conspiracy to commit murder and possession of explosives. Prosecutors, who urged the Superior Court judge to hold Soliah without bail, say she planted nail bombs beneath two police cars in 1975 with the intent to avenge the death of six SLA members in a shootout with Los Angeles police.

New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani pulled ahead of Hillary Rodham Clinton in a new poll of New York voters. A Marist Institute for Public Opinion survey of 515 people found Giuliani ahead of Clinton 46.9 percent to 40.7 percent in their presumed race for the US Senate seat being vacated by Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D). Some 32.5 percent of respondents said they were greatly concerned Clinton was not from New York; 20 percent said they were somewhat concerned.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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