News In Brief
Vote recounts and legal wrangling stretched into a fifth day in Florida, as the dispute that will determine who wins the presidential election deepened. A federal court hearing in Miami today is to address whether some ballots could be recounted by hand - an action requested by the Gore campaign and opposed by the Bush camp. Most of the controversy continued to center on Palm Beach County, but developments in other counties also appeared likely to affect vote totals. Unofficial tallies by the Associated Press showed George W. Bush had a 288-ballot lead over Al Gore.
Delayed counts in New Mexico gave Bush 17 more votes than Gore, prompting state police to begin impounding certain ballots in case they're needed for review later. Republicans had requested the action for early voting and absentee ballots.
An estimated 7,000 people, including President Clinton and former Sen. Bob Dole, took part on Veterans Day in a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony for a World War II memorial on Washington's National Mall. The memorial - which critics are trying to block in court on aesthetic grounds - hasn't been given a construction permit yet, so groundbreaking was limited to turning up soil in a trough. Other Veterans Day ceremonies took place across the US, among them the State House in Boston, Mass., where Zelda Moore participated. She is a member of the American Gold Star Mothers, an organization for women who have lost a child in the line of duty.
At discussions in Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak was likely to be questioned about the killing Thursday of a Palestinian militia chief. Barak, who almost canceled his trip because of temporary concerns about an airline hijacking that ended in Israel, was to meet late yesterday afternoon with Clinton. Israeli officials had few expectations of a breakthrough in resolving six weeks of violence in the Middle East.
The Clinton administration was to issue controversial new standards today to try to protect workers from health problems attributed to repetitive motion. The standards, from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, aim to cut in half an estimated 600,000 stress injuries each year. OSHA projects the rule would cost businesses $4.5 billion annually - its costliest regulation yet, The Washington Post said - by forcing companies to alter work stations or change tools and equipment once employees are found to experience work-related injuries. Industry groups have promised to challenge the standards in court.
Temperatures hit record lows in Western locales Saturday: minus 19 degrees F. in Casper, Wyo., and minus 12 in Dillon, Mont. The cold front extended as far south as Iowa, Nebraska, and Colorado. The latter experienced dozens of traffic accidents and at least five deaths because of icy roads, officials said. Heavy precipitation also was a factor in some areas.
The production company for public television's "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" announced the final episode of the children's series will be taped next year. In 33 years as its host, Fred Rogers has produced almost 1,000 episodes. He plans to turn his attention to his Web sites, publications, and special programs for museums.
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