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TOPICS RANGED FROM THE FLAG TO CHILD CARE

SHARE TOPICS RANGED FROM THE FLAG TO CHILD CARE

Here is an at-a-glance look at President Bush's news conference Tuesday:

FLAG-BURNINGBush called for a constitutional amendment to prohibit desecration of the flag, saying support of the First Amendment need not extend to activities that would deface "the unique symbol of America."

He said it was important to protect free speech, but that protecting the flag would in "no way limit" constitutional rights. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 last week that burning the American flag as a form of protest is protected by the Constitution.

POLAND

The president said he would carry a package of economic aid for Poland when he travels to Eastern Europe next month, but first wants to make sure that Poland's Communist government implements reforms.

He said Soviet leaders should not be "uptight" about his presence in Eastern Europe, saying he didn't expect his stops in Poland and Hungary to be disruptive to the communist world.

CHINA

"I'm going to do my level best to find a way to see improvement there that will help the Chinese people," Bush said, also again declaring that he doesn't want to see contacts with the Chinese government cut off despite the continuing crackdown on dissidents.

Contacts with the West "hopefully someday will move the process of political reform forward," Bush said.

HUD

Bush decried "cronyism" in the Department of Housing and Urban Development as investigators look into alleged irregularities in housing programs in several states and congressional committees probe the department's operation.

Expressing confidence in HUD Secretary Jack Kemp, Bush vowed to get to the bottom of scandals plaguing the department under the Reagan administration.

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

Bush said his advisers have concluded that none of the recent Supreme Court rulings on affirmative action jeopardizes the principles of equal opportunity for all Americans. Civil rights advocates say several recent decisions undercut progress toward equal rights.

The president said, however, if the court's decisions turn out to hamper civil rights enforcement, he would consider legislation.

ABORTION

With the Supreme Court expected to rule later this week on a case involving abortion, Bush renewed his opposition to the procedure. The president said he was not going to change his position.

CHILD CARE

Bush criticized legislation passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate on child care, saying it "does not fit what I think is the proper prescription for child care." But Bush said he would wait to see the final bill before deciding what steps to take.