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World Briefs I

House Rejects Funding For Campaign Probe

The Washington Post

In a sharp rebuke to Speaker Newt Gingrich and the Republican leadership, the House on Thursday rejected a resolution that would have provided millions of dollars for an investigation of campaign fund-raising abuses.

By a vote of 213 to 210, the House refused to consider the $170 million resolution, the basic legislation needed to fund the chamber's normal operations.

A proposed 50 percent increase for the investigating committee headed by Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., was the most contentious item in the resolution, ensuring a solid wall of Democratic opposition.

The key votes to block the funding resolution were cast by 11 GOP conservatives dismayed because it included increases in committee budgets.

The dissenters insisted that their votes did not imply disapproval of the campaign fund-raising investigation led by Burton, the subject of recent news reports that he improperly pressured a lobbyist to raise money for him. Burton has denied any wrongdoing.

Looting, Lawlessness Rule Albania City's Streets

Los Angeles Times

Here in the hometown of Albania's new prime minister, armed men had been having a field day emptying the central bank of its money - the salaries of hospital employees, teachers and state workers - and shooting into the air to ward off the curious.

On Thursday, police finally stationed an armored van in front of the ransacked building, ending - at least for the day - the looting that had gone on the three previous days.

In slate-roof homes on the medieval streets that wind up from the bank, residents huddled around living room tables, avoided going out at night and shared the latest stories of dire happenings.

"Criminals," said a religious worker as gunfire popped all around. "The criminal fraternity is in charge here."

Gjirokaster, about 90 miles south of Tirana, was the last city in southern Albania to be swept up in a chaotic national insurrection that is part political, part lawlessness. It remains tense and shows that the conflict in southern Albania, and in much of the country, is far from settled.

That picture contrasts with efforts by the new multiparty government to demonstrate that normalcy is returning to the capital, Tirana.

House Votes to Ban Late-Term Abortion Procedure


In a vote that was emotionally wrenching for many members, the House Thursday approved a measure banning a specific late-term abortion procedure with enough support to override an expected veto by President Clinton.

The 295-136 vote came after more than two hours of debate in which supporters of the ban likened the procedure to infanticide, described it in graphic detail many times on the House floor and accused abortion-rights advocates of misleading statements about the frequency and circumstances of the procedure.

"There is no constitutional right to commit this barbarity," said Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

Opponents argued that politicians have no place in deciding a question that should be between a woman and her physician.