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News Briefs (part 2)

Senate Panel Unanimously Approves Breyer's Nomination

Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON

Stephen G. Breyer's nomination to the Supreme Court won unanimous approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, clearing the way for his expected confirmation by the full Senate within several days.

Committee Chairman Joseph R. Biden Jr., D-Del., said the vote by 10 Democrats and eight Republicans should bring the panel's recommendation before the Senate by Friday or early next week. Commending Breyer on his fairness and his skill in explaining complex issues, Biden said: "These qualities should serve Steve Breyer well on the Supreme Court."

Breyer, 55, would become the nation's 108th justice, replacing the retiring Harry A. Blackmun. He is President Clinton's second appointment to the Supreme Court, following the nomination of Ruth Bader Ginsburg last year.

A federal jurist since 1980, Breyer is chief judge of the U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston and a former chief counsel of the Judiciary Committee.

Koreans Say Goodbye to One Leader, Pledge Loyalty to Another

Los Angeles Times

SEOUL, South Korea

In an outpouring of tears and wailing expected to continue Wednesday, more than 2 million North Koreans in Pyongyang bade farewell Tuesday to the late President Kim Il Sung, and, according to communist media, pledged loyalty to Kim Jong Il, his son and now successor.

Analysts said a mass "memorial" - which was to be held Wednesday as a funeral follow-up - would be used to turn North Koreans' emotions toward the son, who has been groomed for two decades for Communism's first hereditary takeover.

In North Korean broadcasts - aired by the American Cable News Network but shown only on sparsely viewed South Korean satellite channels - a sedate Kim Jong Il, 52, saw off a stretch-limousine bearing the crystal casket of the "Great Leader" on its roof.

TV announcers tearfully repeated declarations of sorrow and occasionally added pledges of respect and allegiance to Kim Jong Il.

A flower-framed portrait of Kim Il Sung - which was three times the size of the car on which it was mounted - was followed in the funeral procession by a massive wreath atop another vehicle that bore a ribbon with Kim Jong Il's name on it.

South Korean officials and analysts predicted that North Korea would announce Wednesday - during or after the memorial service - what new posts Kim Jong Il would assume.