Too Little, Too Late?

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WASHINGTON, D. C.: Speaking before a joint session of Congress, French President Jacques Chirac said that his country has forever finished with its controversial nuclear testing program. Although Chirac announced an end to the testing two days ago, many Democrats boycotted the Capitol Hill speech. They charged that after conducting six nuclear tests over the past six months, the announcement came far too late. "We return the insult with our insult," said Eleanor Holmes Norton, congressional delegate from the District of Columbia. House Republicans late Wednesday night blocked an effort to withdraw Chirac's invitation. But despite a last-minute effort to fill the seats with congressional staffers, the French President was left speaking to a half-empty gallery.