News In Brief

President Clinton asked in writing for Senate postponement of a vote on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. By doing so, the president met one demand of his Republican opponents. They were also seeking assurances the issue wouldn't come up again during the presidential campaign. As a compromise, some senators said they would push for a procedural vote to postpone a ratification decision indefinitely - a vote requiring a simple majority, not the two-thirds needed for ratification.

Clinton was expected to announce a study that could add 40 million acres to Forest Service lands that are protected from development. Most of the property is in the Rocky Mountains and California, but the initiative, which doesn't require congressional approval, could affect land in as many as 35 states. A spokesman for the American Forest and Paper Association accused the president of trying to use "regulatory fiats" to "run us out of the forests."

The Supreme Court allowed Maine to continue subsidizing students at private, nonreligious schools while not providing state money for those going to church-related schools. The justices, without comment, rejected an appeal in which parents of religious-school students said the state violated their rights by denying them equal aid.

In other cases, the high court:

- Decided to hear a challenge to federal regulation of livestock grazing on millions of acres of federal land. The justices voted to study an appeal that says 1995 Clinton-administration rules violate a 65-year-old law and threaten the livelihood of tens of thousands of ranchers.

- Let stand the conviction and life sentence of Terry Nichols, convicted in the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people in 1995.

- Agreed to review a bid by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr to preserve Webster Hubbell's guilty plea to a misdemeanor tax charge. A lower court ruled that using Hubbell's financial papers to prosecute him would violate his privilege against self-incrimination.

A new poll showed former Sen. Bill Bradley closing in on Vice President Al Gore in their contest for the Democratic presidential nomination. The USA TODAY/CNN Gallup survey found Gore preferred by 51 percent of respondents; Bradley by 39 percent. Seventy percent had a favorable view of Texas Gov. George W. Bush. Favorable views of Gore and Bradley were held by 54 percent and 53 percent, respectively.

The governor of California vetoed a bill aimed at protecting workers' e-mail privacy. The measure would have required companies to inform employees before monitoring their electronic mail. Gov. Gray Davis (D) likened monitoring of e-mail to limiting personal long-distance phone calls. About 20 percent of Fortune 1000 firms use special software to monitor office computers, the American Management Association says.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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