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Washington budgeteers plan to swap fresh offers today with hopes of averting a new federal shutdown. If serious bargaining is under way, Congress likely will send Clinton a stopgap bill financing federal agencies. Some say a deal could be struck by Christmas. Bargaining was expected through the weekend. And a New York Times/CBS poll shows a 51 percent approval rating for Clinton - the highest since February 1994; House Republicans' popularity dropped.

Congress grudgingly accepted President Clinton's plan to deploy 20,000 US troops to Bosnia. The key Senate resolution, approved 69 to 30, noted the mission should last no longer than about a year and the US must help rearm the Bosnian government. But the House-passed measure stated the US must remain strictly neutral.

''This is not CNN in a copy. Its a whole new concept,'' said NBC News President Andy Lack, announcing a joint NBC-Microsoft cable news service called ''msNBC.'' It will be distributed initially to 15 million US homes through NBC's America's Talking'' cable network, which Microsoft will buy a 50-percent stake in for $220 million. The $400 million joint venture will include an interactive on-line component and will debut in 1996.

California Rep. Walter Tucker III announced that his wife will run for the US House seat he has resigned (above). Tucker was convicted last week of extorting $30,000 in bribes and cheating on his taxes while mayor of Compton in 1991 and 1992. He accused the jury of being racist.

Boeing Company workers are back on the job after voting to end a 69-day strike. The machinists' union won gains on job security, medical coverage, and pay. The company says the contract will not affect plans to subcontract for 52 percent of the components of Boeing planes (excluding engines), compared with 48 percent now.

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