News In Brief

Democrats officially minted Al Gore and Joseph Lieberman as their presidential ticket. The convention's third-day highlights:

*Lieberman, who is the first Jewish vice presidential candidate on a major ticket, spoke of his family heritage and warm friendship with Gore while offering humorous jabs at Republican initiatives.

*Los Angeles police arrested 37 people in a tense day of sporadic clashes with protesters who were denouncing police brutality. Though demonstrations have been largely peaceful, police used rubber bullets and pepper spray to match some protesters who threw bottles, cans, and eggs.

*After two months of effort, Gore put the final touches on his crucial acceptance speech. Aides say it will emphasize his personal history and policy specifics.

Republican vice presidential nominee Dick Cheney, meanwhile, will be able to hold millions of dollars in stock options and retire three years early without penalty, details from his retirement package indicated. A spokesman for Halliburton Co., where Cheney served as chief executive officer prior to joining Bush, described the severance deal as "plain vanilla." Cheney said his assets would be placed in a blind trust if George W. Bush wins in November.

Growing wildfires forced Montana's governor to declare the state a disaster area. Mark Racicot (R) previously had closed an area bigger than Vermont to public use, but the statewide emergency declaration frees up funds to help those hurt by the 25 reported blazes. Fires across the West have stretched firefighting resources to the limit, forcing the addition of more than 2,900 regular military, National Guard and Reserve troops, and international forces from as far away as Australia.

The State Department warned US citizens of an increased threat of "terrorist" attacks in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. The public announcement indicated no specific threat against Americans, but urged extra vigilance and avoidance of public buses there.

US surveillance indicates that two onboard explosions, the second bigger than the first, damaged the Russian submarine lying on the floor of the Barents Sea, a US intelligence official reported. President Clinton repeated his offer of assistance to Russian President Vladimir Putin, but White House officials said no request for US aid had been made.

US and British jets bombed air-defense targets in a northern Iraq "no-fly" zone in response to anti-aircraft missiles launched by Iraqi forces, the US military said. The attack marks the fourth such raid against Iraqi targets in a week.

Colombian authorities arrested 10 suspected leaders of the world's largest US-dollar counterfeiting ring, police there said. The capture, completed with help from the US Secret Service, shut down the $40 million operation, which exported much of the currency to Miami.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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