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President Reagan has nominated Douglas H. Ginsburg, a federal appellate judge described as a staunch conservative, for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.

The President announced his selection of Mr. Ginsburg last Thursday, six days after the Senate voted 58 to 42 to reject the nomination of Robert H. Bork to the High Court.

Mr. Ginsburg has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for less than a year. He headed the Justice Department's antitrust division from 1985 through 1986.

Bennett Funds Five Centers To Battle Drug Abuse

The Education Department plans to fund five regional centers in an $8.4-million program to help communities fight drug abuse in their schools.

Selected on the basis of demonstrated understanding of alcohol- and drug-abuse problems in their respective regions and the effectiveness of their plans to address those problems, officials of the centers will provide a range of services to schools and community agencies.

The centers will be located in Sayville, N.Y., Atlanta, Chicago, Norman, Okla., and Portland, Ore. Each will receive funding of between $1.5- million and $1.8 million.

"Our goal is to reduce, and ultimately to eliminate, drug abuse in the nation's schools," said Secretary of Education William J. Bennett. "These regional centers will provide the training and expertise to achieve drug-free schools."

Tax-Free Bonds Proposed For College Tuition

Families would receive a tax break if they purchased U.S. savings bonds to pay for college tuition under a bill introduced last week by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Senator Claiborne Pell, Democrat of Rhode Island.

The legislation, called the "education savings act of 1987," would allow interest earned on savings bonds to be tax-free if families designated the bonds for college costs.

The saving bonds could be transferred to any eligible education institution in the nation, including vocational schools, as a payment for higher-education expenses and then redeemed by the institution.

If a student decided not to attend college, the bond could be used for any other purpose, but the family's tax advantage would be lost.

The tax exemption would be limited for families with incomes of between $75,000 and $150,000 and eliminated for families with incomes of over $150,000.

The plan could cost as much as $840 million in lost tax revenues over 15 years, but the estimated 10 percent increase in purchases of savings bonds the measure would stimulate would generate $1 billion, according to the sponsors.

Health Bill Passes Without Extension of Medicare Tax

Local and state employees in those states that do not pay into the Medicare system, but instead pay into a state system, have again escaped a mandate from the Congress to pay the tax.

The Senate passed its version of the catastrophic-health-insurance bill last week without an amendment to extend mandatory Medicare taxes to all state and local employees in the 14 states where only new employees pay the tax.

Senator John Melcher, Democrat of Montana, had planned to offer an amendment to extend the tax in order to fund a lower deduction ceiling for prescription drugs. Mr. Melcher proposed his amendment but did not include a funding mechanism.

Since 1986, when the Congress mandated that all new public employees in the 14 states pay the Medicare tax, proposals to extend that tax to all public employees in those states have surfaced in various pieces of legislation but have failed to pass.

Surgeon General C. Everett Koop has asked physicians to recommend condom use to their sexually active patients--including teen-agers--to help prevent the spread of aids.

Writing in the Oct. 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Dr. Koop notes that condoms, while not 100 percent effective, can, if correctly used, "dramatically reduce one's risk of exposure" to the virus that causes the fatal disease.

"Some of you find it unpleasant to recommend condoms to young people," he writes. "So do I. Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is an unpleasant disease, and recommending condoms to those who need protection is preferable to treating aids."

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