News In Brief
The shuttle Atlantis docked with Russia's Mir space station for an exchange of US astronauts and a delivery of supplies. The shuttle skipper greeted Mir's commander and promptly passed him a sorely needed replacement for the station's troublesome computer. The old one had a minor problem prior to the docking of the shuttle, but kept the station steady for the arrival. Astronaut David Wolf is to replace Michael Foale, who has been on Mir since May.
President Clinton urged an audience in Houston to demand campaign-finance reform and support cutting campaign costs by offering lower-cost media ads to candidates who abide by fund-raising restrictions. His words came on a day when he raised $600,000 for his deeply indebted Democratic Party - and on the day GOP majority leader Trent Lott opened Senate debate on reform of campaign financing. Lott said debate would occur "against a background of lurid exposs" of how Clinton raised millions for his 1996 reelection campaign.
A former top Clinton aide has told investigators that the president called several Democratic donors from the White House in 1994 to solicit contributions, the Los Angeles Times reported. Harold Ickes, ex-White House deputy chief of staff, said he was present when the president spoke by phone with several donors, sources said. Attorney General Janet Reno must decide by Friday whether to start a preliminary inquiry into telephone solicitations by Clinton and Vice President Gore to raise funds for the 1996 election.
A federal grand jury is investigating a loan involving former GOP chairman Haley Barbour that provided his party $1.6 million shortly before 1994 elections, two lawyers said. The Washington, D.C., grand jury has taken testimony about the transaction from several witnesses, they said. Hong Kong businessman Ambrous Tung Young reportedly put up money to guarantee a loan for the National Policy Forum. Most of the loan was used by the Republican Party to repay an old debt.
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