News In Brief

With just over a week until election day, three nationwide polls showed George W. Bush with a slight edge over Al Gore - but not having amassed the 270 electoral college votes to win the presidency. An analysis by the Associated Press gave Bush 214 votes and Gore 179. As the candidates campaigned in battleground states, each had sharp criticism for his opponent and hit well-worn topics like healthcare.

US warships stood guard as a tugboat pulled the damaged destroyer USS Cole out of Aden harbor in Yemen, where 17 sailors died in a bomb attack. It will take one week for the ship to be loaded onto a Norwegian-owned heavy-lift vessel, which was awarded a $4.5 million contract to tow the Cole back to the US. Dozens of FBI agents will remain in Yemen investigating the cause of the explosion, which evidence shows could be linked to suspected terrorism-financier Osama bin Laden.

President Clinton signed legislation that reauthorizes the Violence Against Women Act and cracks down on the global trafficking of human beings. Some $95 million is allotted for the latter component, while $3.3 billion is designated to expand shelters for abused women and children and to prosecute offenders. About 900,000 US deaths a year are blamed on domestic violence.

Also enacted was a bill that eases the US embargo against Cuba, but it was uncertain whether sales of food and medicine to the communist island would pick up. Although Clinton signed the legislation, he objected to restrictions that could make it "virtually impossible" for farmers to obtain financing needed to conduct business in Cuba. The Castro government, meanwhile, vowed not to buy any US commodities because of the restrictions, plus ones that codify earlier measures and ban travel by most US citizens to the country.

Hundreds of counterdemonstrators attempted to drown out statements by two dozen members of the Aryan Nations, as the white supremacist group paraded through Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, protesting a court decision that likely will cost it $6.3 million. The group was found liable last month for the actions of its security guards, who chased and shot at a woman and her son driving past their headquarters in 1998. The plaintiffs could win ownership of the group's 20-acre compound in nearby Hayden Lake.

Less than a week after rains flooded part of southwest Arizona, a new storm left as much as three feet of water in some homes. The town of Wenden was evacuated early Saturday, although a local spokeswoman said residents were allowed to survey their properties later. About 200 buildings were affected in the first flooding alone.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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