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News Briefs

Buchanan Leaves GOP, Declares Reform Party Candidacy


Patrick J. Buchanan, whose presidential bids in 1992 and 1996 bedeviled the Republican establishment, Monday severed his lifelong ties to the GOP and declared his candidacy for the Reform Party presidential nomination.

At a news conference packed with 350 supporters chanting “Go Pat Go” along with an impressive array of Reform Party leaders, Buchanan, who had been a top aide in the administrations of Presidents Richard M. Nixon and Ronald Reagan, denounced both major parties as controlled by big corporations and special interests.

“Our two parties have become nothing but two wings of the same bird of prey,” he told the crowd. “Neither fights today with conviction and courage to rescue God’s country from the cultural and moral pit into which she has fallen.”

The former television commentators’ entry into the Reform Party could set off a bitter battle for the party’s nomination between forces loyal to party founder Ross Perot, some of whom are backing Buchanan, and those aligned with Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, who has said Buchanan is not a good fit for the party.

Russian Military Warns U.S. About Building Missile Defense System


The Russian military warned the United States Monday that it has enough weaponry to overwhelm any anti-ballistic missile system, and it threatened to deploy more atomic warheads if the United States builds a national missile defense system.

Nikolai Mikhailov, the first deputy defense minister, told reporters that “our arsenal has such technical capabilities” to “overcome” any antimissile defenses. “This technology can realistically be used and will be used if the United States pushes us toward it,” he said.

His comments came on the heels of the latest meeting between Russian and American officials last week to discuss possible amendments to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The Russian military adamantly opposes any changes to the treaty, which prohibits both countries from building systems capable of stopping missile attacks.

The Clinton administration has said it will decide next summer whether to go ahead with a limited missile defense system, which would require changes in the treaty or abandoning it. Russian officials have been responding with increasingly vocal warnings that such a move could unravel two decades of arms control efforts.

Study Links Some Disorders To ‘Misfire’ in Brain


Scientists Monday reported evidence that many brain disorders, from Parkinson’s to schizophrenia, may come about because electrical impulses are firing off improperly in the brain's thalamus, an area that helps filter sensory information from our environment.

Correcting these abnormalities using devices that electrically stimulate the brain -- simular to pacemakers that stimulate the heart -- may alleviate symptoms for a wide range of neurological and psychiatric disorders, the researchers said.

The work by scientists at the New York University School of Medicine in Manhattan was reported Monday at the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting here. It promises to be controversial because it disputes theories that these conditions come about because of a wide range of neurochemical and molecular problems.