News In Brief
German Chancellor Kohl met with President Clinton in Washington. Expanding NATO and ties with Russia were expected to top the agenda. Kohl also planned to meet with Speaker Gingrich and Senator Dole. US officials said they expected no dramatic announcements. Defense Secretary Perry told a House committee Wednesday that many of the former Soviet-bloc counties will never become full NATO members.
Russian and Ukraine agreed to divide the Black Sea fleet, and Ukraine will allow Russia to base its part of the fleet in Sevastopol, officials said. A formal declaration will be signed within two months, with details to be worked out later.
An Israeli-PLO summit ended with no agreements reached, both sides said. A Palestinian spokesman called the situation "a crisis," but an Israeli negotiator denied this and said the two sides would meet again next week. PLO leader Arafat reportedly accused Israel of delaying expansion of Palestinian rule and complained about the closure of the West Bank and Gaza following a Jan. 22 suicide bombing that killed 21 Israelis. Israel demanded a larger crackdown on opponents of the peace accords. (Arafat's survival, Page 1.) Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Rabin dropped hints that he was willing to withdraw from most of the Golan Heights in exchange for peace with Syria.
Rescuers continued digging out survivors of a 6.5-magnitude earthquake that hit Colombia. At press time, 37 people were reported killed and about 230 injured in and near Pereira, a city of 700,000 people. It was the third major temblor to strike Colombia since last June.
Peru and Ecuador's two-week-old border conflict has cost each nation between $100 million and $400 million and could roll back economic gains, economists said. Quito and Lima each accuse the other of starting the fighting. (Story, Page 6.)
South African anti-apartheid activist Allan Boesak is fighting charges he misused $570,000 in charitable donations from Scandinavian church and aid organizations. Boesak allegedly used the funds to buy his house and pay for his wedding reception and extensive travel. Anglican Archbishop Tutu has requested a police investigation.
The Security Council voted to send 7,000 UN peacekeepers to Angola. The US and others warned that peace remained fragile and that the council would stop the operation if the Angolan government and rebels did not honor terms of a peace pact signed in November. African delegates and Portugal urged that the force be deployed as quickly as possible. (South Africa won't send troops, Page 7.)
The Security Council urged Croatia to reconsider its demand that 12,000 UN peacekeepers withdraw in March. The demand has led Croatian Serbs to suspend economic confidence-building unless the UN troops stay. They also rejected an international peace plan for Croatia unless it guarantees them independence. The US ambassador warned Croatia the US would not support a crackdown on rebel Serbs, and also cautioned Serbia not to aid them. (Story, Page 7.)
The Mexican government has ordered a new probe into the assassinations in 1993 and 1994 of Cardinal Posadas, presidential candidate Colosio, and ruling party secretary general Ruiz Massieu. An official said a special prosecutor will start from scratch.
Nicaragua's parliamentary president warned of violence in a constitutional crisis between legislators and President Chamorro. The lawmakers have passed constitutional amendments limiting presidential power.
British Prime Minister Major refused to follow Ireland in repealing an antiterrorism law. Dublin repealed an act allowing police to detain suspects up to seven days without charges. The US
The USA dozen senators urged their colleagues to resist the tax-cut stampede on Capitol Hill. The request for a slowdown reflects in part the GOP's struggles to find enough cuts to pay for tax relief and the balanced budget. Speaker Gingrich said House Republicans are sticking with the "Contract With America," but may have to modify it. The House cast its 100th vote Wednesday in apparent record time.
The House passed anticrime bills that would impose a one-year limit on federal death-row appeals and allow wider use of evidence obtained in illegal police searches. The House was set to vote on a bill to streamline the deportation of criminal aliens after they serve their sentences; a prison-construction bill; and a block-grants bill that would give local authorities more choice about how to spend crime-prevention funds. (Alternative sentencing, Page 4.)
Henry Foster, President Clinton's choice for surgeon general, said he has no intention of withdrawing. Foster is under fire for discrepancies on his abortion record. He told ABC's "Dateline" that he had performed 39 abortions in 38 years. Clinton said he would stand by his nominee.
Gingrich and Senator Dole said they have little interest in resolving the six-month-old baseball strike, leaving players and owners at a standstill. Clinton had sent special legislation to Congress, requesting that it create a three-member panel of independent arbitrators. Both sides are expected to testify next week before a Senate subcommittee.
Former Vice President Quayle decided not to enter the 1996 presidential race because of the difficulty of raising money for a viable campaign, an adviser said.
At the urging of a group of 14 Republican senators, the Justice Department is considering whether an independent council should investigate Commerce Secretary Brown. The senators have questioned Brown's business dealings in a communications company. They want to know why he received more than $400,000 from the company, even though he had not invested money in it.
The man portrayed as the mastermind of the World Trade Center bombing pleaded innocent after he was captured in Pakistan and secretly returned to New York. Iraqi-born Ramzi Ahmed Yousef is charged with 11 counts relating to the bombing. (Story, Page 5.)
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a constitutional amendment limiting the terms of future members of Congress to 12 years in each house. The bill's fate in the full Senate is unclear.
The number of newly laid-off Americans dropped by 8,000 last week to the lowest level in more than two months. New applications for unemployment insurance totaled 318,000, down from 326,000 the week before, the Labor Department said. It was the smallest number of new claims since November.
Prosecutors in the O. J. Simpson trial spent much of the week trying to pinpoint the time Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman were murdered. Neighbors testified that they heard a barking dog at about 10:15. The prosecution is trying to show that Simpson had enough time to commit the crime.
The House Ways and Means Committee approved legislation to restore a tax deduction for self-employed people who purchase health insurance. The measure would make 25 percent of the cost of health-insurance premiums retroactively tax-deductible for 3.2 million self-employed Americans.
J. William Fulbright, a 30-year senator whose criticism of the Vietnam War made him a hero to some and an enemy to others, died yesterday.
French swimmer Guy Delage was in the final hours of a 2,400-mile solo journey across the Atlantic yesterday and was on course to land on Barbados. He began in the Cape Verde Islands Dec. 16.
Olympic gold medalist Al Joyner has agreed to a $245,000 settlement of his lawsuit contending police arrested him because he was a black man driving a nice car. Los Angeles lawyers urged the City Council to agree.
Elephants are no longer welcome in Bangkok. A city official said the ban, based on a 1992 sanitation law, is aimed at villagers who bring their idle animals to town to try to make extra money.
Polaroid is about to introduce a talking camera. Called the Talking Onestep, the camera can accept eight-second recordings. Polaroid says it will make picture-taking more fun and interesting.
Chocolate consumption in Switzerland, home of the world's most eager chocolate eaters, slipped a pound last year, to 24 pounds per person. But the Swiss still beat their nearest rivals by six to seven pounds.
Top 10 TV Shows, Jan. 30-Feb. 4 Rank/Show/Network/Rating 1. "E.R.," NBC, 23.3, 22.2 million homes 2. "Seinfeld," NBC, 22.6, 21.5 million homes 3. "Home Improvement," ABC, 20.0, 19.0 million homes 4. "60 Minutes," CBS, 18.8, 17.9 million homes 5. "Mad About You," NBC, 18.6, 17.7 million homes 6. "Grace Under Fire," ABC, 17.7, 16.9 million homes 7. "Pretty Woman, NBC Monday Night Movies," 17.0, 16.2 million homes 8. "Roseanne," ABC, 15.6, 14.9 million homes 9. (tie) "Under Siege, ABC Sunday Movie Special," 15.4, 14.6 million homes 9. (tie) "American Music Awards," ABC, 15.4, 14.6 million homes. (Rating equals percentage of American homes with TVs)
- A. C. Nielsen Co.
``I admire Senator Dole. Assuming I don't run for president, I would be honored to run for vice president [with him]."- Massachusetts Gov. WIlliam Weld