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Lott consults senators on trial

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., spent Thursday intensely canvassing fellow senators about his plan for an expedited trial of President Clinton amid a backlash of criticism from some conservative senators who vigorously object to Lott's approach.

The majority leader has consulted with more than two dozen GOP senators in recent days but has not yet produced a workable consensus.

Some conservative senators served warning Thursday that they will oppose halting a trial before senators hear a full presentation of evidence and witnesses and can vote on the articles of impeachment passed last month.

11 charges against

fund-raiser dismissed

A federal judge Thursday threw out much of the government's case against Thai businesswoman Pauline Kanchanalak, delivering the latest in a series of legal blows to Attorney General Janet Reno's campaign finance investigation.

Kanchanalak and her sister-in-law, Duangnet "Georgie" Kronenberg, were indicted last summer on 24 charges accusing them of illegally steering $659,000 to Democrats. Prosecutors dismissed six charges last fall. Thursday U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman threw out 11 counts, leaving seven.

Clintons top poll's

"most admired' list

President Clinton was again named the nation's most admired man, and Hillary Rodham Clinton is the most admired woman in the Gallup Poll's annual survey.

Clinton was selected by 18 percent of those questioned, becoming the top choice for the sixth year in a row. Last year, he was selected by 14 percent.

The Gallup Organization noted that Americans usually select sitting presidents as the most admired person.

Pope John Paul II was runner-up, named by 7 percent. The Rev. Billy Graham was third, making the list for a 35th time. Basketball star Michael Jordan and former senator and astronaut John Glenn rounded out the top five most admired men.

Mrs. Clinton held first place as the most admired woman for a second year, named by 28 percent of those surveyed. She was followed by television personality Oprah Winfrey, American Red Cross president Elizabeth Dole, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and former first lady Barbara Bush.

The poll, in which 1,005 adults were interviewed Monday and Tuesday, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

In addition . . .

GOLF AND TALK: President Clinton closed the door quietly on 1998 with a round of golf Thursday in Hilton Head Island, S.C., where the first family is attending the Renaissance Weekend, and a wide-ranging talk with about 125 young guests at the weekend.

Topics raised by the young questioners included Social Security, voter turnout, the prospects for peace and the new euro currency.

GORE TO START RACE: Vice President Al Gore will take his first formal step toward running for president in 2000 by notifying the Federal Election Commission that he has formed a campaign organization, aides to the vice president said Thursday.

The aides said papers would be mailed to the commission today as official confirmation that the organization can begin to raise money.

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