News In Brief

At their summit in Moscow, President Clinton and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, agreed to dispose of 34 tons each of weapons-grade plutonium, enough to build thousands of nuclear weapons. The pact will cost $6 billion and take 20 years to complete, a US official said. The two leaders also said they'd share early-warning data on missile and space launches - a move Clinton characterized as a milestone in military cooperation. They acknowledged, however, differences on missile defense programs, but pledged to work to bridge them. Clinton has said he wants to amend the Antiballistic Missile Treaty to accommodate such a program.

All foreign students in the US would be monitored under rigorous new measures to be recommended by a congressional panel to stop terrorism against Americans, The Washington Post reported. The National Commission on Terrorism, in a report to be released today, also suggested that Greece and Pakistan be designated as "not fully cooperating" against terrorism. Afghanistan, it advised, should be upgraded to a "state sponsor" of terrorism. The commission further recommends that the military lead the response to any major terrorist attack on US soil, as opposed to an organization like the FBI. In regard to the student monitoring, the panel suggested tracking such things as changes in their study plans - such as a switch to a major in nuclear physics.

Another NASA project crashed and burned - just as planned, the agency said. Remnants of the bus-sized Compton Gamma Ray Observatory satellite splashed into the Pacific Ocean in a controlled termination of the craft, whose gyroscopes were failing. Launched in 1991, Compton was used to study celestial phenomena through gamma rays.

A federal jury in Austin, Texas, found Gary Karr guilty of four criminal counts linked to the 1995 disappearance of atheist leader Madalyn Murray O'Hair. Karr was acquitted of conspiring to kidnap but still faces life in prison because of the so-called "three strikes and you're out" law. O'Hair led the successful 1960s legal battle to ban prayer in public schools.

William Simon, who died Saturday in Santa Barbara, Calif., served as Treasury Secretary under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. As "energy czar," he steered the nation through the oil shocks of the 1970s. Author, financier, and longtime US Olympic Committee member, Simon gave his entire fortune - almost $350 million - to charity.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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