President Clinton warned Iraqi President Saddam Hussein not
to be emboldened by raucous protests expressed at an
internationally broadcast town meeting at Ohio State University. He
made the comments to reporters after his national security team
struggled to be heard over hecklers while trying to voice the
administration's position on Iraq. There was also solid support in
the hall for the US stand and anger that the hecklers disrupted the
event. Earlier, the administration said nuclear weapons wouldn't be
used in a US air strike.
A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll found that 76 percent of
respondents approve of air strikes on Iraq. But 69 percent said
they would prefer to see the stalemate over UN weapons inspections
resolved through diplomatic pressure and economic sanctions. A CBS
News poll found 77 percent in support of bombing the country.
Democratic fund-raiser Maria Hsia was indicted on charges of
conspiring to make illegal campaign contributions from the Buddhist
Progress Society to political candidates and committees, the
Justice Department said. It also alleged the scheme used straw
donors. The temple was named as an unindicted co-conspirator.
Deputy White House counsel Bruce Lindsey arrived at a
Washington courthouse flanked by 10 other Clinton lawyers. Lindsey
was to appear for a second day before a grand jury probing the
White House sex scandal. The slew of lawyers indicated the White
House might invoke executive privilege for Lindsey. Meanwhile,
attorney and Clinton friend Vernon Jordan's appearance was
postponed. Jordan reportedly met four times with former White House
intern Monica Lewinsky, exchanged several phone calls, and received
a package from her by courier. The contacts occurred from early
December to mid-January - a week before she was subpoenaed to
testify in the Paula Jones lawsuit.
A group of lawyers and business people announced formation of
a new legal defense fund for the Clintons. Former US Sen. David
Pryor (D) of Arkansas, who led the effort, estimated the Clintons
currently owe about $3.2 million. But an article in the National
Legal Journal put their legal bill at more than $8 million - before
the Lewinsky controversy.
A sharp deterioration in December pushed the US trade deficit
for 1997 up 2.4 percent to its highest level in nine years - $113.7
billion, the Commerce Department said. The imbalance with China
climbed to an all-time high: $49.7 billion, the worst with any
country other than Japan. Exports of goods and services rose 9.9
percent to a record $932.3 billion. But imports hit a record as
well:rising 9 percent to $1.05 trillion - the first time they have
topped the 1 trillion mark.
Clinton outlined a five-year plan to spend an additional $2.3
billion to strengthen programs to fight water pollution from
cities, agriculture, and industries. It is largely a reworking of
existing programs and an effort to improve coordination among
federal agencies, states, and communities to control tainted runoff
that winds up in the nation's waterways.
A US military helicopter on a search and rescue training
mission crashed in central California's Sequoia National Forest,
killing at least four people. An observer on the ground said he saw
smoke coming out of the plane before the crash. Meanwhile, a US Air
Force B-1B bomber crashed into a muddy pasture in Marion, Ky.,
moments after its crew of four ejected safely. The co-pilot said
the plane lost control on a training mission.
Legendary baseball broadcaster Harry Caray, who died in
Rancho Mirage, Calif., was known for his folksy chatter and such
classic phrases as "Holy Cow!" and "It might be, it could be, it is
- a home run!" His career spanned 53 years.
Saying he'd been advised to "be firm in substance and show
flexibility in form," UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan left Paris
for his planned meeting in Iraq with President Saddam Hussein.
Annan was reminded of warnings that the US and Britain maintain
they have ultimate say over any settlement he might negotiate in
the weapons-inspections crisis. …