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There was further tightening of security to prevent potential terrorist activity at the turn of the millennium. Staffing was beefed up at airports and ports of entry - and a new warning was released: "The US government believes that terrorists may be planning to conduct attacks, including against official and nonofficial Americans, in and around the New Year period, from now through mid-January 2000."

Astronauts aboard the shuttle Discovery prepared for the first of three spacewalks to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. French astronaut Jean-Franois Clervoy managed to snare the observatory with the shuttle's 50-foot arm and pull it into Discovery's cargo bay.

The US has paid enough to the UN to save its vote in the General Assembly, the State Department reported. UN officials said payments over the past week put the US $43 million over what was needed to fulfill conditions in the UN Charter. The US debt to the UN is now $1.17 billion.

A $50 billion plan to provide preschool for every 4-year-old was unveiled by Vice President Al Gore. The Democratic presidential candidate had previously called for using $115 billion of the projected federal budget surplus over the next 10 years to upgrade public schools.

A judge decided to directly oversee efforts to fix American Indian trust accounts. US District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled in Washington that the government had failed to safeguard some $500 million. He said it is impossible to say how many accounts should exist or how much should be in them after more than a century of mismanagement. Indians are seeking not only reform, but billions of dollars in compensation.

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