News In Brief

An accord was reached in the Senate on debating reform of campaign fund-raising for at least a week by early October. It was hammered out between minority leader Trent Lott, an opponent of the reform effort, and Sens. John McCain (above, l.) of Arizona and Russell Feingold (r.) of Wisconsin, sponsors of the proposal. The agreement provides for consideration of a broad range of amendments - which will boost prospects for approval of their bill, the sponsors said.

The House passed a $2 billion bill to give states block grants for teacher-training programs, but President Clinton vowed to veto the measure because it would compromise his initiative to put 100,000 new teachers in classrooms. The vote, 239 to 185, was mostly along party lines. Meanwhile, the White House said it had awarded $43 million in grants designed to improve the quality of teaching in public schools.

Wreckage of John Kennedy Jr.'s plane was located off the coast of Martha's Vineyard with his remains still aboard, government officials and family sources said. The Navy was said to be preparing a recovery mission from the Massachusetts island. There were no immediate reports concerning Kennedy's wife and sister-in-law, who were also on the plane when it crashed Friday night.

Quick ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty was urged by Clinton and a bipartisan group of senators. The treaty has been blocked by Foreign Relations Committee chairman Jesse Helms, who insists on the president first sending the Senate an unrelated treaty on global warming as well as amendments to the 1972 Anti-ballistic Missile Treaty. While never mentioning Helms by name, Clinton accused the North Carolina Republican of holding the test-ban treaty hostage to matters that are not ready for Senate consideration at this time.

Rejecting an anti-abortion amendment, the House seemed ready to pass a bill designed to boost security at US embassies. The $1.4 billion measure would quadruple White House requests for rebuilding and renovating diplomatic buildings next year - the first installment of a 10-year, $14 billion program. Rep. Chris Smith (R) of New Jersey said the 221-to-198 vote to also give $25 million to the UN Population Fund was a setback for efforts to end US support of abortions. Family-planning advocates praised the vote.

A civil-rights group canceled plans for a national convention in Charleston to protest the flying of a Confederate flag from the dome of the South Carolina Capitol, in Columbia. Martin Luther King III, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, announced the change four days before some 2,500 delegates and their families were to arrive in Charleston. The Confederate flag was raised over the state Capitol in 1962 to commemorate the Civil War centennial.

Steel producers in six countries could be subject to punitive US tariffs on thicker grades of steel plates, the Commerce Department said. It cited evidence of steel firms in France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, and South Korea selling products in the US at prices below production costs or home-market prices. The US steel industry blames such low-priced imports for thousands of layoffs.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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