USA

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The senate voted down the controversial Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, 51-to-48, dealing President Clinton a major political and foreign-policy defeat. It was the first time in almost 80 years that the Senate rejected a major international treaty. Angry Democrats vowed to keep the issue alive by making it a main theme in campaigning for next year's presidential election.

The flagging presidential campaign of Al Gore received a major boost with the AFL-CIO's endorsement of his candidacy for the 2000 Democratic nomination. The AFL-CIO has 13.1 million members. But the vice president's victory was not easy; the United Auto Workers and Teamsters withheld their support, saying it was premature, while other affiliated unions abstained.

Republican presidential front-runner George W. Bush agreed to a Dec. 2 debate with his rivals in Manchester, N.H. The Texas governor has drawn heavy criticism for appearing to avoid his opponents, most recently by declining to attend an Oct. 28 "town hall" meeting at Dartmouth College. The Dec. 2 event is to be televised nationally by ABC.

In what has been called the largest antidrug operation in history, agents in 15 Caribbean Basin countries arrested 1,290 suspects, from relatively small peddlers to major distributors, the Drug Enforcement Administration said. The agency said almost 1,000 tons of cocaine were confiscated in the raids, which took place between Sept. 29 and Oct. 11.

Despite a prosperous economy, hunger - or the threat of it - remains a challenge for many American households, an Agriculture Department report said. …