News In Brief
President Clinton took the oath of office and was inaugurated for a second term amid tight security. He indicated he wanted his inaugural to help build bipartisan cooperation in Washington. Senate majority leader Trent Lott (R) of Miss. said that could depend in large measure on how the administration handles debate on a balanced-budget amendment, which the White House opposes. Meanwhile, three new public-opinion polls found the president's approval rating at or near 60 percent.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee recommended confirmation of Madeleine Albright as the nation's first woman secretary of state. The committee voted 11-to-0 for confirmation, but left open the possibility that other members who were absent would vote later. A full Senate vote could come today, committee chairman Jesse Helms said.
The US House is to vote today on ethics committee recommendations that Speaker Newt Gingrich be reprimanded and pay a $300,000 penalty for admitted breaches of House rules. Republicans and Democrats debated whether the Speaker could use his political war chest to pay the penalty. The committee voted 7 to 1 in favor of the sanctions. Rep. Lamar Smith (R) of Texas cast the only "no" vote.
The US Supreme Court said it would reconsider a decision barring public school teachers from working at religious schools. On a 5-to-4 vote in 1985, the court ordered New York to stop sending public school teachers into parochial schools to teach such subjects as remedial reading. A decision in the case is expected by July.
Clinton declared a major disaster in two counties in Washington State hit by recent storms that caused floods and mudslides. The action makes residents of King and Snohomish counties eligible for federal disaster funds.
A pair of bombs rocked a Tulsa, Okla., abortion clinic, but caused no injuries. Investigators said they were exploring whether there was a possibile connection with a pair of bombings that caused a number of injuries near an abortion clinic in Atlanta last week.
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