News In Brief

Democratic presidential candidates Al Gore and Bill Bradley shared the stage for the first time Wednesday night in a televised debate. At Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H, Gore took aim at Bradley's proposed health-care plan. He also attempted to distance himself from President Clinton's actions during the Lewinsky scandal.

After a springtime lull, the US economy took off during the summer, with an impressive third-quarter annual expansion rate of a 4.8 percent, the Commerce Department reported. It cited robust consumer spending as a key contributor.

Republicans were pushing for across-the-board cuts in the last overdue spending bill for fiscal 2000, scheduled for a House vote yesterday. The measure, opposed by the White House, would trim spending by all federal agencies by slightly less than 1 percent.

The New York Yankees swept the Atlanta Braves in four games to clinch their second straight World Series championship and 25th overall. The Yankees won 22 of their 25 games during the past two postseasons, joining the 1927-28 and 1938-39 editions as the only teams to achieve back-to-back sweeps. The earlier teams did not have to survive of three-tier playoffs.

Four days after the Learjet accident that killed professional golfer Payne Stewart and four others, investigators recovered the plane's cockpit voice recorder near Mina, S.D. While it may not contain voices, they said, the sounds recorded at the end of the flight could help to explain what happened. Investigators also are looking at a replacement part in the cabin-pressurization system.

Boeing 777 jets soon will be subject to tougher maintenance and operating rules, reports said. The plane's persistent electrical problems are the target of a forthcoming Federal Aviation Administration safety directive.

The House overwhelmingly approved legislation to prohibit federally controlled drugs for assisted suicide, setting the stage for the Senate to debate whether doctors may prescribe drugs that help patients diagonosed as terminally ill end their lives. The outcome could significantly impact Oregon, the only state to legalize physician-assisted suicide for persons considered to have less than six months to live. All 15 suicide-aided Oregonians in 1998 used controlled substances.

Houston is now the US's smoggiest city, edging out Los Angeles, Environmental Protection Agency readings showed. To explain the city's 46 full-scale air pollution alert days this year, experts cited a cluster of petrochemical plants in nearby suburbs. Texas faces an EPA ultimatum to come up with a plan next month for cleaning its skies by 2007 or risk losing federal highway funds.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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