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Helms drops opposition to holiday for Dr. King

Sen. Jesse Helms (R) of North Carolina suddenly folded his filibuster against a bill to honor the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a national holiday and has agreed to allow the Senate to vote in two weeks.

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But assistant Senate Republican leader Ted Stevens said Wednesday there may be a hitch in the agreement, which requires the unanimous consent of the Senate. An unidentified Republican remains unconvinced, Mr. Stevens said, but he did not know why. Mr. Helms did not say why he dropped his filibuster.

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