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News Briefs II

House Committee Votes to Continue Ban on Federal Funding of Human Embryo Research

The Washington Post

The House Appropriations Committee voted Tuesday to continue the ban on federal funding for research using human embryos as part of a $65.6 billion spending bill to fund health, labor and education programs for the year beginning Oct. 1.

Before approving the bill on a 27 to 17 vote, the panel voted to block an effort to restrict family planning services. Both issues, as well as the question of requiring minors to notify their parents before getting family planning services, are likely to be debated again when the full House considers the bill, probably after the July 4th recess.

The measure, annually the target for provisions dealing with federal abortion policy, is among the most contentious of the 13 annual spending bills needed to fund the government.

Last year, disputes between House and Senate Republicans over abortion and between Republicans and the White House over funding levels delayed the measure into the current spending year. This year's measure would freeze funding at current levels, which is $7.8 billion less than the Clinton administration had sought, after seeking to slash many of those programs last year.

Administration officials complained the bill would undermine crucial health and education programs and said President Clinton would veto it in its current form.

The panel voted 25-to-20 to adopt an amendment offered by Reps. Jay Dickey, R-Ala., and Roger Wicker, R-Miss., to continue the ban on funding for human embryo research. "It's lethally experimenting with a life," Dickey said.

Kaczynski Pleads Not Guilty to Unabomber Charges

The Washington Post

Appearing as taciturn and self-composed Tuesday as he has since his arrest nearly three months ago, accused Unabomber Theodore J. Kaczynski pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he mailed and planted bombs that killed two people and severely injured two others.

In an arraignment in U.S. Magistrate's Court here that lasted just over two minutes, the 54-year-old former Berkeley math professor stood with his hands clasped in front of him and said nothing as he was ordered held without bail for an appearance July 19 before the judge who will preside in his trial, U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr.

Kaczynski, who wore an olive green shirt and brown trousers as he stood unshackled in court, seemed almost disconnected from the brief proceedings. He did not attempt to make eye contact with the horde of lawyers, spectators and reporters behind him.

His graying beard and hair were neatly trimmed, as they were in recent court hearings in Montana, in sharp contrast to his disheveled, mountain-man appearance after federal authorities raided his primitive Montana cabin and arrested him April 3. Kaczynski had a small bandage on the right side of his face, but court officials gave no explanation for it.