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Clinton reportedly accepts judge deal

President Clinton has agreed to nominate a conservative selected by a Republican senator to an appeals court post in exchange for the confirmation of one of his nominees to the same court, Senate and administration officials said Monday.

In exchange for nominating Judge Barbara Durham, the current chief justice of the Washington state Supreme Court, to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, the Republicans agreed to stop blocking the nominations of several Clinton nominees, including that of professor William Fletcher, the New York Times reports today.

For more than three years, Senate Republicans have refused to act on the nomination of Fletcher, 52, a longtime Clinton friend who teaches at the law school of the University of California, Berkeley.

The officials said Clinton had made the deal largely with Sen. Slade Gorton, R-Wash., who insisted on Durham's nomination.

For two decades, both Democratic and Republican presidents have said they would not share that authority.

No improvement seen

in Southern youth poverty

MEMPHIS, Tenn. _ The percentage of Southern children living in poverty is about the same as it was in 1969, even though most states in the region have robust economies and budget surpluses, the Children's Defense Fund said Monday.

"Equally disturbing is the fact that the rest of the nation is catching up with the South," said Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Washington-based non-profit child advocacy group.

In 1996, the West matched the South in the percentage of poor children: 22.9 percent _ the first time another region equaled the South in child poverty.

Artifacts salvager sues

to block "Titanic' tours

NORFOLK, Va. _ The company that dived more than 2 miles to recover artifacts from the Titanic waded into federal court Monday to try to prevent tourists from getting an up-close look at the wreck.

RMS Titanic Inc. of New York City asked a federal court to bar Deep Ocean Expeditions from charging 60 people $32,500 apiece to visit the shipwreck in a submersible vessel. Deep Ocean says it has 45 customers hoping to make the 2{-mile trip beneath the North Atlantic.

RMS Titanic is especially concerned because the tourists would videotape and photograph the wreckage.

"That diminishes the value of the photography rights that we have," said Mark Davis, a lawyer for RMS Titanic in Norfolk.

Animal-killing videotapes

suspect freed on bail

ISLIP TERRACE, N.Y. _ A judge Monday freed on bail a Long Island man charged with selling videotapes of women in high stiletto heels stomping frogs and rodents to death.

Police said Thomas Capriola, 28, of Islip Terrace in Suffolk County was accused of running a ring that sold tapes of guinea pigs, mice, frogs and rabbits being stamped on.

Adam Gross of the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the tapes were a "foot-fetish type of thing."

Police said Capriola, who was granted bail of $750, may face thousands of counts of animal cruelty; each can carry up to a $1,000 fine and a one-year jail sentence.

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