News In Brief

The head of the AFL-CIO said the labor group will endorse Vice President Al Gore for the Democratic presidential nomination this week. President John Sweeney reportedly made the comment on the eve of a three-day convention that began yesterday in Los Angeles. Gore's opponent, former Sen. Bill Bradley, had urged the group to postpone an endorsement - expected tomorrow - until next year. Analysts say Bradley could score a limited victory if a few of the 68 AFL-CIO affiliates decline to back the vice president.

The White House was pressing the Senate to put off voting on a nuclear test-ban treaty, saying rejection would prevent the US from taking the lead in halting the spread of such weapons. Supporters estimated they were 15 to 20 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed for ratification. GOP Senate leaders had said the vote would proceed unless President Clinton withdraws the treaty and promises not to resubmit it.

In a defeat for its GOP leaders, the House passed a bill that would give patients more leverage against HMOs. The measure - passed on a 275-to-151 vote - would allow lawsuits against health-insurance firms in state and federal courts, with no limit on potential awards. The vote set up potentially contentious negotiations with the Senate, which has passed a more modest version of the bill.

Colt's Manufacturing Co. plans to stop taking orders for most of its retail handguns so it can limit its liability in lawsuits, according to published reports. The New York Times said Colt's retail gun business effectively will be stopped and seven product lines cancelled in part because potential lawsuits are making it difficult for the firm to acquire loans. Citing unnamed sources, Newsweek magazine said Colt's will lay off as many as 300 of its 700 union workers in Connecticut.

The first man charged directly in the bombing of the US Embassy in Tanzania pleaded innocent in a federal district court in Manhattan. Khalfan Khamis Mohamed, a Tanzanian citizen, was brought to the US for trial after his arrest by the FBI in Cape Town, South Africa. Prosecutors said he had purchased a vehicle used by the conspirators and had rented a house in Tanzania for their use.

The White House and congressional negotiators agreed on a huge spending bill that would provide more than $97 billion for housing, environment, space, and other programs. Republicans said they agreed to the extra spending because it was paid for in "savings" that include delaying the use of $4.2 billion in housing funds until fiscal 2001 and declaring $2.5 billion in aid for victims of hurricane Floyd and other disasters a budget emergency.

Gunter Blobel won the 1999 Nobel Prize for Medicine. Blobel, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at The Rockefeller University in New York, was awarded the prize for his discovery that proteins have intrinsic signals that govern their transport and localization in cells.

Milt Jackson, who died Saturday in New York, was an outstanding jazz vibraphonist, one of music's great improvisers, and a great blues player. Jackson, known as "Bags," got his breakthrough with the Dizzy Gillespie band. He was perhaps best known as a member of the Modern Jazz Quartet.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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