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FCC tightens rules on cable systems

The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to allow local governments to regulate the prices charged by more than half of the nation's cable TV systems. The change in commission rules would allow only systems facing competition from at least six over-the-air broadcast stations or another multichannel operator to avoid local price controls. The changes will give local governments control over the prices charged by about 60 percent of cable systems.Intelligence work called excellent

President Bush still feels the intelligence from the Persian Gulf war provided by the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon was excellent, despite the "minimal concerns" that Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf had, the White House said Thursday. Schwarzkopf, testifying before the House and Senate armed services committees Wednesday, spoke out about the intelligence "void all of us felt existed out there." He said the overall intelligence efforts were good but listed some problems, including reports that were so watered down that they were almost useless.

Nursing home rules under attack

Nursing-home reform advocates Thursday assailed the Bush administration's rules for inspecting nursing homes, charging that guidelines were substantially weakened after California Gov. Pete Wilson asked President Bush to intervene in February. Elma Holder, executive director of the National Citizens Coalition for Nursing Home Reform, told a Senate Labor subcommittee hearing that the alleged deal will weaken requirements that protect nursing-home residents from being subjected to physical and chemical restraints against their will. Administration officials denied the allegation.

Delegation to AIDS forum cut by 100

Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan, responding to pressure from Congress, has dropped another 100 scientists from the U.S. delegation to an AIDS conference in Italy next week, a spokesman said Thursday. Sullivan cut the number from about 300 to 200 after a House subcommittee last week demanded that the list be trimmed and threatened to cut funds for AIDS programs. The department originally had planned to send 400 people to the conference at a cost of $1.5-million. The list was pared to about 300 after AIDS activists criticized the department for extravagance in a time of tight budgets and a worsening AIDS epidemic.

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