Clinton wins record approval in the polls

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PRESIDENT BILL Clinton's fight to survive impeachment got off to a rousing start yesterday as his ratings soared to record levels, stock- market worries proved unfounded and two former presidents appealed for a compromise.

A CBS-New York Times poll showed his job-approval rating up 5 points since last week at 73 per cent, equalling his previous record just after the first disclosures about Monica Lewinsky in January. CNN-USA Today showed a 9-point jump, also to 73 per cent.

In New York the two main Wall Street indices, the Dow and the Nasdaq, shot up during the first hour of trading, with the Dow gaining more than 100 points, banishing fears that the markets would be unsettled by Mr Clinton's plight.

While insisting impeachment was "permanent" and had brought "profound disgrace" to Mr Clinton, former presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford called for a Senate censure rather than a trial as the first step towards healing a national wound that was "grievous and deepening". In a joint New York Times article they said Mr Clinton should acknowledge he lied under oath in exchange for a deal that he would not be prosecuted for perjury when he left office.

Calls for a compromise also came from editorials in newspapers across America.

Washington in crisis,

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