News In Brief

Hurricane Floyd, swelling into a massive storm, threatened the Bahamas and Florida's eastern coast. A hurricane watch was raised for the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos islands - as well as the densely populated 250-mile stretch of Florida from Hallandale to Flagler Beach. A watch tells residents to expect hurricane conditions within 36 hours. Floyd was described as a Category 4 storm on the verge of becoming Category 5, which means top sustained winds of more than 156 m.p.h.

North Korea has tentatively agreed to not test long-range missiles during current talks to improve bilateral relations, US officials said. The deal was reportedly struck between US and North Korean negotiators in Berlin. National Security Adviser Samuel Berger - accompanying President Clinton at an Asian-Pacific summit in New Zealand - said the US was, in turn, considering easing sanctions against North Korea. Also, South Korea's official news agency said a North Korean radio station had announced the North's willingness to resume talks with the South on both governmental and private levels.

Patrick Buchanan suggested he may drop out of the Republican Party to seek the Reform Party nomination for president. Saying he would make a decision by Oct. 15, the conservative third-time presidential candidate said on NBC TV that he was leaning "strongly" toward the Reform Party. A Buchanan defection could siphon support from the eventual GOP nominee. A opinion poll last week by Zogby International had Texas Gov. George W. Bush leading Vice President Al Gore, the Democratic front-runner, 50 percent to 36 percent. In a Schroth and Associates poll last month Bush had 39 percent, Gore 35 percent, and Buchanan 16 percent.

The Senate was to vote on a bid to protect oil firms from paying higher royalties. Supporters said proposed new royalty rules were too complex and tantamount to a new tax on an industry already reeling from economic hard times. Critics said current rules allow the companies to use calculations that undervalue product they extract from federal land and unfairly reduce the royalties they pay.

David Kelley scored a double win at the 51st annual Emmy Awards ceremony. Kelley produces both "The Practice" and "Ally McBeal," which were honored as best drama series and best comedy series, respectively. No producer had ever before been responsible for both best drama and comedy Emmys in the same year. Among other winners: Edie Falco ("The Sopranos") took best dramatic actress honors. Dennis Franz ("NYPD Blue") was named best actor in a drama. The best actress in a comedy award went to Helen Hunt ("Mad About You"). John Lithgow ("3rd Rock From the Sun") was named best actor in a comedy. Stanley Tucci ("Winchell") and Helen Mirren ("The Passion of Ayn Rand") were chosen best actor and actress in a miniseries or movie.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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