News BriefsIRS Rejects Christian Coalition Claim to Tax-Exempt Status THE WASHINGTON POST -- WASHINGTON
The IRS has rejected the Christian Coalition’s 10-year struggle to win tax-exempt status, dealing a major setback to a mainstay of the Republican Party and to the political-business empire that turned televangelist Pat Robertson into a power broker of the religious right.
The IRS action is virtually certain to make conservative pastors, concerned about risking their charitable status, reluctant to maintain close ties to the Christian Coalition, and less willing to distribute its controversial voter guides and other material, according to supporters and critics of the coalition.
The IRS ruling, first reported Thursday by the St. Petersburg Times, further diminishes the coalition’s ability to maintain its influence in the Republican Party in the wake of other damaging developments. Over the past 10 years, the coalition has emerged as the counterpart to organized labor and the women’s movement in the Democratic Party.
Many conservatives described the IRS action as a roundhouse punch to a group already on the ropes, as its revenue dropped from $26 million in 1996 to $17 million in 1997.
Experimental Missile Defense System Tests Successfully THE WASHINGTON POST -- Washington
An experimental Army missile defense system succeeded Thursday in doing what it had failed to do in six previous attempts: destroy a speeding missile with another missile.
Nearly 60 miles over a New Mexico test range, the Army’s Theater High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor collided with its intended target in a powerful explosion that produced a large white puff of smoke visible from the ground, according to observers.
“The test went exactly as planned,” said a delighted Brig. Gen. Dan Montgomery, who oversees the Army’s missile defense effort.
THAAD is designed to protect troops and bases from medium-range ballistic missiles like those being developed by North Korea, Iran and Iraq. But Thursday’s demonstration has implications beyond battlefield defense. The same “hit-to-kill” concept is at the core of an even more ambitious anti-missile system, which is under development to guard the entire United States and recently got fresh impetus from Congress.
First Calf in U.S. to Be Cloned From Adult Cow Is Born
The Hartford Courant -- Storrs, Connecticut
A 94-pound Holstein named Amy was born Thursday morning in Storrs, Conn., University of Connecticut officials said, the first calf in the United States to be cloned from an adult cow.
Jubilant researchers at UConn celebrated the delivery by Caesarean section at 10:30 a.m., saying Amy will help scientists understand the mysteries of aging, speed breakthroughs in medicine and agriculture and possibly preserve endangered species.
“This is one valuable animal,” said Dr. Xiangshong “Jerry” Yang, head of the Transgenic Animal Facility at UConn and one of the scientific fathers of Amy. Yang said staff members planned to stay throughout the night with the newborn.
Like the famous cloned sheep Dolly, Amy was created from DNA taken from an adult cell, in this case taken from the ear of a 14-year-old, top-milk-producing cow named Aspen. The DNA was fused in an embryo that had been stripped of its genetic material. The embryo was then implanted into a surrogate mother on Oct. 5.