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News Briefs I

Clinton Considers N.Y. Senate Race

The Washington Post

First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton will "seriously consider" whether to run for the Senate from New York in 2000 once the Senate impeachment trial of her husband has been concluded, several knowledgeable Democrats said Thursday.

The first lady has been besieged in recent weeks by Democrats in New York and elsewhere who have strongly encouraged her to seek the seat of retiring Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., arguing that she would be the strongest possible candidate the party could nominate.

Hillary Clinton's office sought to play down intensifying discussion about a possible Senate race Thursday, and a number of Democrats said they still doubted that the first lady would jump into electoral politics this year, despite the pressure she is under.

But the possibility of a Clinton Senate campaign appears to have moved beyond the point of mere speculation, according to a number of sources. As one Democrat familiar with New York politics put it Thursday: "People who were telling me until a week ago that they didn't think this was going to happen now believe it's really possible that it could happen."

Greenspan Rejects Bank Compromise

The Washington Post

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan dug in his heels Thursday, saying he would rather kill efforts to revamp financial services law than compromise with regulatory rivals at the Treasury Department and allow banks to sell securities and other non-banking services through wholly owned subsidiaries.

Speaking before the House Banking Committee, Greenspan said in the strongest words possible that allowing banks to offer new services through subsidiaries would "lead to greater risk for the (bank) deposit insurance funds and the taxpayer."

Greenspan repeated the Fed's position that banks should be allowed to affiliate with insurance and securities firms only through a holding company that would own but keep the three businesses separate.

The Treasury regulates national banks. The Fed regulates bank holding companies. The two agencies have been locked in a fight over which will be the primary federal bank regulator if financial services legislation passes.

Annan Bemoans African Militarism

Los Angeles Times

Secretary-general Kofi Annan warned the U.N. Security Council on Thursday of potentially disastrous consequences from "overt military adventurism" as some African governments send troops across their borders to fight.

Annan's remarks concluded a briefing he delivered on Africa's most troublesome conflicts. He urged governments to begin addressing the destabilizing trend before it spreads further.

"The inter-relationship between a number of these conflicts is a new and very worrying trend," he told council's 15 members. " It is even possible to find soldiers from the same army fighting in conflicts in more than one country at the same time."

This type of "overt military adventurism" may, if unchecked, have "disastrous consequences" for states in a large part of the continent, Annan said.

He said in Sierra Leone, rebel forces killed more than 3,000 people and burned much of the city of Freetown in January. In Angola, where two U.N. planes were shot down, killing 23 people, he said international organization would press to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the crashes. Annan said the United Nations stood ready to increase its humanitarian aid if necessary.