Clinton Out of Intensive Care,

Walks With Assistance

Former president Bill Clinton moved out of the intensive-care unit at a New York hospital yesterday afternoon and walked short distances with assistance, according to officials at his charitable foundation.

His surgeon at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, Craig R. Smith, said Clinton was having "an average amount of post-op pain."

Clinton, 58, is expected to stay in the hospital several more days after he underwent quadruple bypass surgery on Monday. He experienced chest pain and shortness of breath last Friday. The operation required cutting his sternum, or breastbone, lengthwise and stopping his heart for 61 minutes.

Third U.S. Judge Rejects

Late-Term Abortion Ban

LINCOLN, Neb. -- A third federal judge has ruled the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act unconstitutional, adding judicial weight that some experts say could keep the issue from reaching the U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf ruled against the measure, saying Congress ignored the most experienced doctors when it determined that the banned procedure would never be necessary to protect the health of the mother -- a finding he called "unreasonable."

His ruling echoed decisions by federal judges in New York and San Francisco. The abortion ban was signed last year by President Bush but was not enforced because the three judges agreed to hear constitutional challenges in simultaneous non-jury trials.

* MIAMI -- A teenager whose life sentence in the beating death of a 6-year-old playmate was thrown out on appeal went before a judge on charges that he violated his probation by walking around late at night with a pocketknife. Lionel Tate, now 17, had been the youngest person in modern U.S. history to be given a life sentence. When he was freed from prison in January, he was given a year of house arrest and 10 years of probation. If he is found to have violated his probation, the judge has the discretion to put Tate behind bars again for a period ranging from a few days to life.

* TRENTON, N.J. -- U.S. District Judge Garrett E. Brown Jr. said he will rule within a week on a lawsuit requesting that New Jersey voters choose Gov. James E. McGreevey's interim replacement in a special election. Brown heard arguments in the suit filed by two Princeton lawyers who contend that McGreevey (D) essentially vacated his office when he announced on Aug. 12 that he is gay, that he had an extramarital affair with a man and that he intends to resign on Nov. 15.

* HERMISTON, Ore. -- Workers destroyed the first nerve gas rocket in a long-delayed $2.4 billion project to dispose of chemical weapons left over from the Cold War. An electrical problem with a trap door designed to release chopped-up metal parts temporarily delayed the disposal of the M-55 rocket in one of the four incinerators built for the project at the Army's Umatilla Chemical Depot.

-- From Staff Reports and News Services