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News Briefs

Clinton Calls for China’s Quick Entry into WTO

LOS ANGELES TIMES -- HONG KONG

Former President Clinton on Thursday urged China’s quick entry into the World Trade Organization and said the United States should work as a partner with the Asian nation so that “the world will be a better place.”

In a speech here to the Fortune Global Forum, a gathering of about 700 international business executives, Clinton said his efforts as president to build a strong Sino-American relationship were part of a larger drive to involve the United States in Asia’s future.

He spoke of the growing interdependence of nations as “the central reality of our time” and predicted that the trend will outweigh national differences.

Chinese officials have predicted that entry into the WTO will take place by the end of the year.

In both tone and content, Clinton’s remarks stood as a jarring contrast to the Bush administration’s initial months of dealing with China. Shortly after President Bush assumed office in January, his foreign policy team altered the U.S. approach to China, describing the regime as a strategic adversary, as opposed to Clinton’s characterization of it as a strategic partner.

Bush Shifts Drug War Focus to Reducing Demand

LOS ANGELES TIMES -- WASHINGTON

President Bush ordered a major shift of emphasis in the war on drugs Thursday, vowing an “unprecedented” and “unwavering commitment” to cut drug demand within the United States.

Bush’s determination to target domestic consumption represents a new strategy -- along with treatment and interdiction -- in what he called “an all-out effort to reduce drug use in America.”

“The only human and compassionate response to drug use is a moral refusal to accept it,” he said.

The president announced the shift in a Rose Garden ceremony while introducing the new director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, John P. Walters, a conservative protege of former drug czar Bill Bennett who believes street-level drug dealers should be incarcerated.

“We must do, and we will do, a better job,” Bush said.

During his remarks, the president also declared his unequivocal opposition to the legalization of drugs, which he said would lead to “social catastrophe.”

Kenyan Prostitutes’ Immunity To AIDS Fuels Vaccine Development

THE WASHINGTON POST -- NAIROBI, KENYA

Despite thousands of episodes of unprotected intercourse, undoubtedly with some AIDS infected men, scientists are shocked to find that a group of more than 100 Kenyan prostitutes had somehow not become infected with the disease.

By studying their blood, scientists in England and Kenya have concocted the first experimental vaccine expressly intended for Africa -- and a hope for safeguarding the lives of the 95 percent of Africans not infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS.

The first, tentative phase of clinical trials now under way in Kenya shows promise. The vaccine appears to stimulate elevated levels of a component of the human immune system known as cytotoxic T-lymphocyte cells, the “killer T-cells” that fight the virus most effectively.