March 8, 1996
Web posted at: 1:35 p.m. EST
Affirmative action programs suspended
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The White House is suspending some key affirmative action programs for at least three years. The Clinton administration's new guidelines affect all federal programs that reserve contracts exclusively for companies owned by women and minorities.
Under the new guidelines, a government study must show there has been previous discrimination to justify preference to minority contractors. A senior administration official said he expects discrimination will be found in many areas.
The so-called set-aside programs have been criticized for resembling quotas. Several agencies had already discarded their set-aside programs, after a Supreme Court decision last year.
State trooper fired for bullying woman
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) -- A South Carolina state trooper was fired after a video camera in his unmarked patrol car captured him shoving and cursing at a Florida woman he stopped for speeding on January 8.
The officer followed the woman with his siren on for approximately seven minutes before she pulled over. The video shows the officer pulling a gun on the woman and ordering her out of the car. After she protests that she has to take off her seat beat, he pulls her from the car and pushes her face down on the road.
State and federal officials are reviewing the video to decide whether to press criminal charges against Lance Cpl. W.H. Beckwith, an 11-year highway patrol veteran.
Bomb-making materials found on Oregon farm
CORVALLIS, Oregon (CNN) -- Three people are free on bail and one is still in custody after they were allegedly found with plans and materials similar to those used to blow up the Oklahoma federal building.
Police who raided a farm about 80 miles from Portland Wednesday night seized guns, drugs, and equipment for making pipe bombs. They also found a large amount of fuel oil and the fertilizer ammonium nitrate, two key components in the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 169 people.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is investigating.
Judge denies defense request for FBI transcripts
LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (CNN) -- Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr does not have to turn over documents that defense attorneys claim would damage the credibility of a key government witness, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
The judge rejected pre-trial demands by lawyers for Jim McDougal, his former wife Susan McDougal and Arkansas Gov. Jim Guy Tucker for access to FBI interviews with prosecution witnesses. Tucker and the McDougals are charged with conspiracy and fraud related to $3 million in government-backed loans. Opening statements in the trial are to begin Monday.
In Washington, Senate Whitewater Committee Chairman Alfonse D'Amato said he may be willing to end his separate Whitewater probe before the political conventions this summer if Democrats agree to let it go on. Authorization for the committee expired on February 29. Republicans have been trying to get an extension while Democrats have accused Republicans of using the hearings to discredit the president in an election year.
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