WORLD HEADLINESA Haitian Supreme Court justice was named interim president Oct. 7, rebuffing diplomatic efforts to restore ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.... Iran said Oct. 8 it had freed American hostage Jon Pattis, held since 1986 on charges of spying.... Japan has worked out an emergency aid package of up to $2.5 billion for the Soviet Union, the government said Oct. 8. The aid package includes humanitarian aid, aid to promote trade and economic activity, and technical assistance.... AIDS will deal a major blow to the economies of many developing countries in Asia and Africa over the next decade, threatening key industries and deterring foreign investment, the Thai social affairs minister said Oct. 8.... One billion people live in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions, with toxic and other waste disposal and contaminated water supplies, the UN Center for Human Settlements said Oct. 7.
UNITED STATES In Washington, President Bush met his economic advisers for the third time in two weeks Oct. 8. to consider proposals to encourage more bank lending to jump-start a stagnant economy.... Barring last-minute delays, the Senate on Oct. 8 was to finish floor debate and vote on Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas's confirmation.... New Jersey Gov. James Florio said Oct. 7. he will use the federal Coastal Zone Management Act against the federal government to try to bar offshore drilling. The administration proposed opening 1.3 million acres of ocean off New Jersey to exploration.
JUSTICE The US Supreme Court opened its 1991-92 term Oct. 7 agreeing to revisit the standards that constitute double jeopardy in criminal law. Other items on the docket included: California's Proposition 13, the 1978 law that put a lid on property tax increases of existing property. The court agreed to hear arguments on whether the law discriminates against recent migrants and violates the US Constitution's equal-protection clause.... A case revisiting whether mail-order catalog companies can be required to coll ect use taxes for states in which they sell products. In the 1967 Bella Hess decision, the high court decided that mail-order businesses did not have to collect taxes for states in which they had no physical presence but conducted business.... A decision regarding whether the failure of a defense lawyer to object to the racial makeup of a jury is grounds for a possible retrial. The court let stand a ruling that a criminal suspect has a "fundamental right" to have his lawyer question the racial motives of a prosecutor who uses automatic strikes to remove members of a certain racial group from a jury.... A decision allowing state prisoners to appeal convictions in federal court on the grounds their Miranda rights were violated. The court upheld a ruling that inmates who claimed in state court their Miranda rights were violated can again raise the same objection on federal appeal.