In WashingtonInvitations mailed for Buchanan switch to...


In Washington

Invitations mailed for Buchanan switch to Reform Party

Republican presidential candidate Patrick J. Buchanan is preparing to bolt his party this month and begin a quest for the Reform Party nomination, officials close to the conservative commentator said yesterday.

Buchanan's campaign mailed invitations to supporters yesterday inviting them to a "major announcement" Oct. 25 at a Falls Church, Va., hotel, the officials said. His advisers expect him to announce his Reform Party candidacy at that time, the officials said.

Black lawmakers begin effort to rebuild N.C.

Rallying behind Democratic Rep. Eva Clayton of North Carolina, black lawmakers launched an effort yesterday to develop a "Marshall Plan" to rebuild flood-ravaged eastern North Carolina.

The strategy includes appeals to both parties in Congress, churches and nonprofit groups, private companies and Hollywood entertainers.

"It will take several years and a lot of money," Clayton said at a Capitol Hill news conference.

Postal Service announces stamps planned for 2000

From author Thomas Wolfe to warriors Audie Murphy, Alvin York and Omar Bradley, the Postal Service will celebrate 2000 with a flood of new stamps.

Other planned topics include the Library of Congress, summer sports, space achievement, the Pacific rain forest, Thanksgiving and the ever-frustrated Wile E. Coyote.

Sabrett hot dogs tainted by listeria are recalled

A New Jersey company is recalling 52,000 pounds of hot dogs that were distributed in six Eastern states after deadly listeria bacteria were detected in samples of the meat.

Marathon Enterprises Inc. of East Rutherford, N.J., is recalling its Sabrett Skinless Beef Frankfurters that were distributed in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida and Georgia.

Chinese labor camps portrayed in Capitol exhibit

U.S. lawmakers paid tribute yesterday to activist Harry Wu, whose exhibit of photos documenting China's labor camps is on display at the Capitol this week.

Wu's exhibit is on display at the Rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building.

"To all of us in the House and Senate, it's our responsibility to speak up about human rights and democracy in China," Minnesota Sen. Paul Wellstone, a Democrat, said at a Capitol Hill reception for Wu.

In the Nation

Renewed research promised on chronic fatigue syndrome

ATLANTA -- The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention apologized yesterday to people with chronic fatigue syndrome, saying the agency was wrong to divert millions of federal dollars earmarked to study the mysterious illness.

CDC Director Jeffrey Koplan promised a "reinvigorated effort" to study chronic fatigue, which leaves some people so drained that they can't perform simple tasks. Some rarely leave their beds.

An audit this year found that the CDC had received $22.7 million from Congress for chronic fatigue research but that less than half of it was used for that purpose.

After 307 years, Mass. gets female chief justice

BOSTON -- Justice Margaret Marshall was elevated to chief justice of Massachusetts' highest court yesterday, becoming the first woman to head the nation's oldest appellate court.

Marshall, a former chief counsel at Harvard, overcame charges of anti-Catholic bias to win a 6-3 confirmation vote by the Governor's Council, which votes on the governor's nominations.

Marshall, 55, a native of South Africa, was appointed an associate justice of the 307-year-old Supreme Judicial Court in 1996.

S.C. city condemns KKK as a terrorist organization

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- The City Council has declared the Ku Klux Klan a terrorist group and condemned other hate groups in a resolution approved after an emotional debate.

The resolution was approved on a voice vote Tuesday after council members were assured that it would not infringe on anyone's constitutional rights.

"The United States has a no-tolerance policy for terrorist organizations," said Councilman Kwadjo Campbell. "This is an unprecedented move, undoubtedly."

Worst outbreak of red tide afflicts Florida waters

MIAMI -- Potentially toxic red tide is affecting three areas simultaneously for the first time on Florida's east and west coasts, marine biologists said yesterday.

"This is the most widespread red tide that we have record of Florida experiencing," said Leigh Wallace, a spokeswoman for the Florida Marine Research Institute.

Fish killed by the algae behind the phenomenon have washed up on the west coast. The outbreak has prompted authorities to close shellfish beds to prevent the harvesting of contaminated oysters and clams.

Country singer Rodriguez cleared in Texas slaying

UVALDE, Texas -- Country singer Johnny Rodriguez was acquitted of murder yesterday in the shooting death of a drunken acquaintance in his mother's house after a drinking party nearby.

Jurors found Rodriguez innocent in the death of Israel "Bosco" Borrego, 26, who was shot once in the abdomen on Aug. 29, 1998, at the Rodriguez family home in Sabinal.

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