Al Gore and Joseph Lieberman emphasized faith and values during their first appearance together as members of the presumed Democratic presidential ticket. Buoyed by a labor endorsement from the United Auto Workers and polls showing they are gaining ground against their Republican opponents, the two planned to start a cross-country tour, beginning with their boyhood hometowns in Tennessee and Connecticut. Gore's selection of Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, prompted anti-Semitic comments on Internet chat rooms.
A Reform Party faction opposed to Pat Buchanan stormed out of a preconvention meeting, further dividing the troubled organization. Supporters of rival candidate John Hagelin voted to disqualify Buchanan over questionable ballot signatures, and they considered mounting a legal challenge to deny him $12.5 million in federal election funds. But the Buchanan team was confident he'd be the party's standard-bearer when its convention starts today.
Bridgestone Corp. is recalling 6.5 million tires used in sports utility vehicles and light trucks. The Japanese company's announcement came soon after a federal safety agency said failure of the tires might have contributed to 46 deaths. Ford, whose Explorer SUV is equipped with the tires, already has replaced about 108,000 tires put on Explorers and F- series pickup trucks in other countries. Mounting negative publicity and retailers' decision not to sell some of the company's tires, analysts said, contributed to the company's decision to recall.
US troops are preparing West African soldiers for a possible peacekeeping mission in Sierra Leone, the Pentagon reported. Several dozen troops have been in Ghana and Nigeria since July assessing the countries' equipment and training needs. The US would provide equipment as part of a $20 million aid package pledged by President Clinton to bolster the UN peacekeeping effort in Sierra Leone. The Pentagon is likely to supply communications gear and small trucks, a spokesman said. US troops are expected to finish their assessment in about a week.
States should strengthen their antismoking programs with money from their settlement with the tobacco industry, the Surgeon General planned to recommend. Dr. David Satcher's report to the 11th World Conference on Tobacco in Chicago was to argue that a failure to implement proven strategies, like higher taxes on cigarettes and advertising aimed at young people, was responsible for the country's slow progress in combating tobacco use. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association said almost one half of all college students used tobacco products in the past year.
The teen birthrate fell to its lowest level in 60 years, the National Center for Health Statistics reported. President Clinton used the report, which also found that more women are receiving pre-natal care, to call for $25 million in funding to support teen parent centers.
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