U.S. Opposing Deportation Appeal

The Justice Department urged two federal appellate courts not to block the deportation of a Saudi dissident suspected of involvement in the 1996 attack on U.S. airmen in Saudi Arabia.

Hani Abdel Rahim Sayegh was scheduled to be deported to Saudi Arabia yesterday, but his lawyer filed last-minute appeals in the federal circuit courts here and in Atlanta to try to block the move. Sayegh had sought asylum in the United States, saying he would be subjected to torture in Saudi Arabia.

For the Record

* Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman sought to assure lawmakers that U.S. food aid to Russia will be used as intended, even as investigators disclosed the first evidence that some proceeds from earlier sales may have been stolen. The United States is giving Russia 3 million metric tons of wheat, corn, pork and other commodities this year, worth an estimated $1 billion, and Russia has asked for 5 million more tons in 2000, Glickman told the House Agriculture Committee.

* By a narrow margin, the Senate sent the White House a $12.6 billion foreign aid bill that President Clinton has threatened to veto. The legislation cuts nearly $2 billion from Clinton's request. The Senate passed the bill 51 to 49 after Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) changed his no vote to yes. The House approved the same bill on Tuesday, 214 to 211.

* The Clinton administration will ask Congress for a huge increase in U.S. military aid to Colombia to fight drug traffickers and leftist guerrillas financed by the cocaine trade. White House drug control policy director Barry R. McCaffrey said Congress will soon be asked to provide between $1 billion and $2 billion in military equipment--similar to a $1.5 billion proposal last month by two Republican senators--and other economic assistance to Colombia over three years. U.S. aid to Colombia jumped from $85.7 million in 1997 to $289 million this year, making it the third-largest recipient after Israel and Egypt.

* House and Senate negotiators reached a final agreement to postpone production of the F-22 fighter plane until 2001 as part of a $267 billion defense spending bill. House Republicans led by Rep. Jerry Lewis (Calif.) prevailed in their efforts to block production until the Air Force completed more extensive tests of the jet fighter to determine if it meets performance expectations and is affordable, but Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) won funding concessions that would allow for substantial production the following year, provided the plane passes muster.

* The House Committee on Education and the Workforce rejected a move to permit school vouchers--a goal of congressional Republicans--under the $8 billion Title 1 program of remedial education for disadvantaged students. Nine Republicans, including Chairman William F. Goodling (Pa.), joined with committee Democrats to defeat an amendment proposed by Rep. Thomas E. Petri (R-Wis.), 28 to 13. Petri's plan to allow poor parents to use a per-pupil share of the money to help pay for private school tuition or tutoring resembles a proposal made by GOP presidential front-runner George W. Bush.