News In Brief

The first summit between President Bush and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi went smoothly, with Bush pledging support for Koizumi's economic policies and the Japanese leader softening his criticism of Bush for rejecting the Kyoto Protocols, a 1997 global-warming treaty. The two said they established a strong rapport in their Camp David meeting Saturday, but it didn't produce any breakthroughs on pressing issues like missile defense, the faltering Japanese economy, the Kyoto Protocols, or deployment of US forces in Japan.

American Airlines and its flight attendants agreed on a tentative contract Saturday, hours before Bush, who has vowed to prevent airline strikes, planned to step in and block a threatened walkout. Details of the contract won't be released until the final agreement is worked out, according to the Association of Professional Flight Attendants.

Another strike was averted when Hollywood actors agreed to extend their old contract temporarily, just hours before it was due to expire. Negotiations between two actors' guilds and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers resumed yesterday, and both sides said they remained committed to reaching a contract that would prevent a potentially crippling walkout for the TV and movie industry. Among the top concerns of the actors' unions is increasing the minimum pay for its members.

A wide-reaching patients'-rights bill will move to the House after being approved by the Senate in a 59-to-36 vote. The bill promises millions of Americans new rights in medical care and the ability to sue HMOs, but it faces opposition from House Republicans and from Bush, who said "it puts the interests of trial lawyers before the interests of patients."

Minnesota lawmakers passed a state budget Saturday, narrowly averting a government shutdown. Gov. Jesse Ventura later signed the major funding bills, including a tax-relief bill he had pushed for that changes the way education is funded in the state. Both the House and Senate pulled all-nighters to work on the $27.3 billion budget.

The Bush administration will reconsider a Clinton-era ban on snowmobiles in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. The decision settled a lawsuit with snowmobile makers, recreationists, and the state of Wyoming that argued the Park Service had relied on incorrect pollution data in deciding on the ban. Environmental groups accused the administration of acquiescing to industry and other commercial interests.

An operation to implant a pacemaker in Vice President Dick Cheney's chest was successful, say doctors. He may return to work today.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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