Basking in the Northern Ireland peace agreement, President
Clinton said it was appropriate the breakthrough came as Christians
celebrated Easter and Jews celebrated Passover. Clinton was not
only credited with sending former US Sen. George Mitchell to broker
the peace accord, but with telephoning some of the key participants
in the talks to help overcome last-minute sticking points. Clinton
said the parties had chosen "hope" over "hate."
About 60 percent of Americans want to invest some of their
Social Security taxes in the stock market - and 80 percent say
individuals, not government, should control the investments, a
Time-CNN poll of 1,011 adults indicated. GOP leaders in Congress
have echoed Clinton's suggestion that budget surpluses be set aside
until Social Security is strengthened, but there is no consensus on
how to reform the system. The survey's margin of error was plus or
minus 3.1 percent.
There were predictions of soaring US budget surpluses as
taxpayers approached the April 15 deadline for filing tax returns.
Economist Lou Crandall of R.H. Wrightson & Assoc. in New York
forecast a $40-billion surplus, well above a Congressional Budget
Office projection of $18 billion. The Washington Post, citing
internal central-bank reports, said the Federal Reserve is
anticipating a $50-billion surplus. Fed officials responded by
saying the size of this year's surplus was "highly uncertain."
Disaster aid was arriving in four Southern states in the wake
of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. Storms damaged or destroyed
more than 2,000 homes in Alabama alone, state and local officials
said. Tornadoes reportedly killed 33 people in Alabama, at least
nine in Georgia, one in Mississippi, and one in North Carolina. The
tornado - with winds exceeding 260 m.p.h. - that hit Jefferson
County, Ala., was ranked F-5, the most powerful classification. On
average, only one of the 1,000 tornadoes that hit the US each year
is F-5, weather experts said.
New rules to halt stock-market trading when prices fall
sharply were approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The new curbs, which take effect Wednesday, require trading to halt
after drops of 10 percent, 20 percent, and 30 percent in the Dow
Jones Industrial Average. Currently trading is halted when the Dow
industrials fall 350 points, or about 4 percent, and again after a
550-point drop, or about 7 percent. The changes reflect concern
that current curbs on trading could aggravate market instability.
Allegations that a conservative foundation may have given
financial aid to one of his star witnesses were being pursued by
Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr. Brushing aside possible
conflicts of interest, the Justice Department said Starr should
look into allegations that David Hale received payments and other
aid from people working for a foundation that publishes the
American Spectator magazine. An Arkansas women has alleged that
Hale received the aid while cooperating with Starr's inquiry.
American Spectator publisher Terry Eastland said no money was given
Immigrants awaiting citizenship protested problems at the
Immigration and Naturalization Service. Form 1994 to 1997, the
number of citizenship applications reportedly tripled from 500,000
to almost 1.5 million - doubling the backlog of citizenship cases.
Press conferences were held in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los
Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington.
A computer network that handles data much faster than the
Internet will connect a consortium of universities by June, the
Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California said.
The University of California, Stanford University, and the
California Institute of Technology are among the state's
Sinn Fein leaders Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams urged
members of their party and supporters of the Irish Republican Army
to give "fair" and "balanced" consideration to the historic peace
accord reached Friday with Protestants in Northern Ireland. …