No Nuclear Agreement With China
MANILA, Philippines (AllPolitics, Nov. 25) -- The United States sought and failed to arrange a non-targeting agreement with China on nuclear weapons in advance of the latest round of talks between the U.S. and Chinese leadership. "We would favor a de-targeting agreement with the Chinese, even as we have one with the Russians," said Assistant Secretary of State Winston Lord. "It would be primarily symbolic. We're not aiming weapons at each other, but it would be a confirmation. And it would be useful symbolism. So we would favor that. The Chinese prefer to link it with 'no first use,' which we cannot agree to." Lord was responding to a question about a Newsweek story that said the United States had "secretly" made the offer to China last month. "So it's correct, this issue has come up and we'll keep working at it. We think it would be very useful, indeed, to do it but we'll have to keep talking to the Chinese about it," Lord said.
Home From North Korea?
TOKYO (AllPolitics, Nov. 25) -- Rep. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.) will return from North Korea on Tuesday with Evan Carl Hunziker, an American accused by North Korea of being a spy, the U.S. embassy said today in a press release. The embassy did not say it has confirmation of the arrangements from the North Koreans, however. A press officer said, "It [the embassy press release] is as close as you can get for a confirmation, but nothing's 100 percent." The press release says Richardson and Hunziker are expected to land at 6:30 p.m. local time (4:30 a.m. EST) at Yokota Air Base. The embassy press officer said Hunziker will receive a medical examination and he will remain overnight at the base. On Wednesday, Richardson and Hunziker will depart separately for the United States. Hunziker, accused of being a U.S. spy, was arrested Aug. 24 after crossing the Yalu River from China into North Korea. Hunziker's family has denied he is a spy; they say the 26-year-old is a missionary.
Forecasters See A Growing Economy
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Nov. 25) -- Economic forecasters think the current expansion will continue into the 21st century and become the longest period of sustained growth in U.S. history. The National Association of Business Economists said today the consensus of 44 professional forecasters surveyed earlier this month calls for growth averaging 2.5 percent over the next five years, about the same modest annual rate since the last recession ended in March 1991. "While all business cycles eventually end, almost all of the 44 economists who responded to the survey expect economic expansion to continue for the foreseeable future," the association said.
Private Sector Looks Better To Nunn
WASHINGTON, (AllPolitics, Nov. 25) -- Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) said on Sunday he probably will return to the private sector and not move to the U.S. State Department when he leaves the Senate at the end of the year. "I think I'm heading to the private sector, and I'm looking forward to it," Nunn said on NBC's "Meet the Press." Nunn, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, has been mentioned as a possible successor to Secretary of State Warren Christopher. Nunn said he would consider the job if President Bill Clinton offered it to him, but declared, "I don't think I'm on anyone's short list." Other possible candidates for the job include U.N. Ambassador Madeleine Albright, former Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke and former Sen. George Mitchell (D-Maine).
No Progress On Term Limits
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Nov. 25) -- While there could be an early vote in the House, even proponents of a measure to limit members' time in office concede they do not have the votes to pass the term limit proposal. Supporters say they are not close to the two-thirds majority necessary to approve a constitutional amendment, either in the House or the more skeptical Senate. "We do have a long way to go," said Jonathan Ferry of U.S. Term Limits, an advocacy group. "It may take another [election] cycle." The House supported the amendment, 227-204, in March 1995, more than 60 votes short of the two-thirds majority. The Senate took no definitive action, but defeated 49-45 a non-binding resolution in favor of term limits. In 1995, the Supreme Court ruled that limiting terms would require a constitutional amendment, not just state action.
That Time Of Year
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Nov. 25) -- Tipper Gore did the pre-holiday honors today, placing a crowning star atop the national Christmas tree on the Ellipse next to the White House. The vice president's wife was lifted to the top of the 40-foot Colorado blue spruce tree in a cherry picker crane, to place the star and kick off the 1996 Christmas Pageant of Peace, a series of nightly concerts. The tree will be decorated with 95,000 red, white and green lights and President Bill Clinton is set to light the tree on Dec. 5.
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