News Briefs

February 29, 1996
Web posted at: 5:30 p.m. EST

Illegal alien deportations up

immigration graphic

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Amidst the congressional debate over immigration reforms, the Immigration and Naturalization Service Thursday announced a 48 percent increase in deportations in January compared to a year ago.

The increase in so-called illegal alien removals also includes exclusions of aliens, but not voluntary returns.

The agency said there were 5,263 removals last month as opposed to 3,564 in January 1995. This year's number also is higher than the last two months of 1995.

Among the January 1996 removals were 2,674 criminal aliens. INS spokesman Eric Andrus said the agency expects at least 62,000 alien removals in 1996, compared to 49,300 in 1995.

FDA panel likely will recommend new AIDS drugs

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- An advisory committee is expected to recommend by week's end that the Food and Drug Administration approve two new drugs for treating AIDS.

The FDA panel is meeting Thursday and Friday. The drugs, Ritonavir and Indinavir, were widely publicized at a major government-sponsored conference on viruses earlier this year. The drugs, both protease inhibitors, are very similar to a drug already in use.

People with AIDS have been pressuring the FDA for speedier drug approval. Many patients already are taking protease inhibitors under experimental programs.

Since another weaker protease inhibitor is already on the market, as a leading researcher put it, it would be "embarrassing" for the FDA to turn down medications that are clearly superior.

Clinton wants abortion bill modified to protect women


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton is urging Congress to modify a bill that would outlaw a rare late-term abortion procedure.

In an open letter to lawmakers Wednesday, he said that he will only sign the measure if it allows exceptions to protect the life or health of the mother.

Versions of the bill have been passed by the House and Senate, and a conference committee is trying to iron out the differences.

Abortion opponents said the president's proposal would make the bill meaningless.

House to probe alleged misdeeds by energy secretary

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A House committee will hold a series of hearings to determine whether Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary violated federal laws or was derelict in her duties during overseas junkets.


Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, announced Tuesday that his Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee of the Commerce Committee will conduct the hearings. While he has not called for O'Leary's resignation, Barton criticized her decision to ignore a request by the inspector general of the Energy Department to remain in the United States. He also lamented that only through the threat of a subpoena did the Energy Department provide requested documents.

Rep. Martin Hoke, R-Ohio, called O'Leary's actions "simply an abuse not only of the mission but also of the taxpayer funding and the whole way that the Department of Energy is run."

The hearings will begin in early March.



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