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August 6, 1997

``There was a big ball of fire just before the crash. The plane plowed through the jungle for a minute or so before it came to a rest.″ _ Rudy Delos-Santos, a radio reporter who lives near where a Korean Air jet crashed in a rainstorm on the island of Guam with a heavy loss of life.

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``Surely the (Constitution’s) framers did not intend Congress to obstruct the appointment of much-needed judges, but rather simply to ensure that well-qualified individuals were appointed to the federal bench.″ _ Attorney General Janet Reno accusing the Senate of an ``unprecedented slowdown″ in confirming new federal judges.

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``I don’t think the report from the Conference Board will alter anyone’s view that the economy is likely to continue to expand for at least the next nine months.″ _ Hugh Johnson, chief investment officer at First Albany Corp., on the report Tuesday that the Index of Leading Economic Indicators held steady in June.

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