News In Brief

Congress approved a temporary spending measure to keep the government open for another three weeks as it tries to resolve partisan differences over next year's budget. The "continuing resolution" will keep federal agencies afloat until Oct. 21.

President Clinton signed legislation that will raise salaries of members of Congress and double the pay of future presidents. The $28 billion treasury and postal-department funding bill, only the second of 13 spending measures needed for the new fiscal year, also provides coverage for prescription contraceptives in health plans for federal workers and aid for child-care centers in US agencies.

Clinton vetoed a budget for the District of Columbia, saying it would prevent residents from "making their own decisions about local matters." The budget approved by the Republican-controlled Congress would have prevented the district from using funds to lobby for voting rights for its citizens or to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. US taxpayers would have provided less than a tenth of the proposed $5.1 billion budget.

House GOP leaders proposed delaying payments to low-income families and trimming adoption and other programs as a means to pay for federal programs without using Social Security surpluses. The proposed savings would exceed $9 billion next year. Most of it - $8.7 billion - would come from paying earned-income credits in monthly installments instead of the lump sums most of the 20 million recipients now receive. The money goes to people who owe little or no income taxes.

The Brooklyn Museum of Art asked a US court to protect it from New York City's effort to shut down a coming exhibit of controversial British art. The suit says Mayor Rudolph Giuliani violated provisions of the First Amendment by threatening to evict the museum from its city-owned home and freeze its municipal funding if the show - which includes a dung-decorated painting of the Virgin Mary - opens Saturday as planned. Leaders of more than a dozen of the city's cultural institutions warned Giuliani in a letter that his reaction to the show, entitled "Sensation," sets a "dangerous precedent."

Presidential candidate Bill Bradley (D) unveiled a $65 billion health-care plan that would abolish Medicaid, require parents to insure children at birth, and make the US government - not states - responsible for the health care of the nation's poorest residents. The former New Jersey senator said his plan to extend benefits to 95 percent of 45 million Americans who don't have medical insurance would be paid for with surpluses from the federal budget. Where the money would come from in the event of an economic downtown was not clear.

Vice President Al Gore said he's moving his presidential campaign headquarters from Washington, D.C., to his home state, Tennessee. Bradley has criticized Gore for being too closely tied to the nation's capital.

New Hampshire scheduled its 2000 presidential primary for Feb. 1 - a week ahead of its traditional date. New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner said he was reacting to the likelihood that Delaware would hold its primary Feb. 8. Officials in Iowa, who had tentatively set precinct caucuses for Jan. 31, left little doubt that they want to maintain the traditional eight-day gap between the opening caucuses in their state and New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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