News In Brief
President Clinton wrapped up his Midwest trip, hoping to muster support for a public school modernization proposal Republicans forced him to abandon last year. Clinton was to visit a public school in Chicago to press for the measure, which would allow local governments to issue up to $22 billion in bonds. It is a key element of his plan for reducing class size in primary and secondary schools.
Sonny Bono's widow won a special election to claim his seat in the US House, beating the actor who played the patriarch on "The Waltons" TV show. With all 290 precincts reporting, Mary Bono, a Republican, had 50,841 votes, or 64 percent of the vote. Ralph Waite, a Democrat, had 22,787 votes, or 29 percent. Sonny Bono died in a skiing accident early this year.
New guidelines enforcing a Pentagon policy barring pursuit and harassment of homosexuals in the military were ordered by Defense Secretary William Cohen. "Some commanders haven't gotten the message," Cohen said in a National Public Radio interview. He made the comment after the Defense Department released a report showing the number of people discharged for homosexuality had climbed 67 percent since 1994, when the current policy took effect.
The head of the Republican Party attacked a UN report on executions in the US. Chairman Jim Nicholson suggested the Clinton administration withhold payment of US arrears to the UN until the world body apologizes for a study released last week by UN special rapporteur Bacre Waly Ndiaye. The report calls for a halt to executions, saying the death penalty in the US is applied in an arbitrary and discriminatory way. The report came at a time when the UN is trying to collect more than $1 billion owed to it by the US.
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