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UNITED STATES

In Texas, state lawmakers sent a $528 million public school finance reform package to Gov. William Clements (R) for his promised signature Wednesday. Clements until last week had resisted new taxes for education, sought by the legislature to comply with a court ruling that spending disparities between rich and poor districts violate the state constitution. President Bush shifted from superpower diplomacy to domestic politics yesterday, embarking on a swing through the Midwest to help Republican candidates raise money in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska. The Federal Housing Administration faces losses that could exceed $600 million this year, according to a study presented to Congress Wednesday by Housing Secretary Jack Kemp. NASA engineers confirmed a fuel leak aboard the space shuttle Columbia Wednesday, which could delay the launch until August. ECONOMY AND TRADE POLICY

The Bush administration, citing national security, Wednesday rejected a plan by the Denver-based company U S West to lay a fiber optic cable across the Soviet Union. The project may go ahead without participation of the US firm. Meanwhile, the House of Representatives voted Wednesday to forbid the sale of sophisticated US computers, telecommunications equipment, and other high-tech goods to the Soviet Union until it ends its economic boycott against the breakaway republic of Lithuania. The vote amended a bill that would ease technology exports to Eastern Europe. …