News In Brief

THE WORLD

Singapore asked Germany to extradite Nicholas Leeson, the futures trader blamed for bringing down Britain's oldest investment bank. Leeson was taken into custody after arriving in Frankfurt on a flight from Malaysia. His investments in the Tokyo stock market allegedly cost Baring Brothers $1 billion in losses.

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A gunman killed a Russian TV journalist, who was recently appointed executive director of Russian state television. Colleagues said Vladislav Listyev's death was part of a battle for influence in an increasingly violent society.

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US and Italian marines abandoned Mogadishu's seaport, pulling back in a convoy as shots and explosions thundered nearby. The US-led protection force earlier escorted remaining Pakistani peacekeepers to their ships. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

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British Prime Minister Major survived his second showdown with the opposition Labour Party over the European Union. A measure censuring his policy toward the Union was defeated 319 to 314.

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Winnie Mandela returned home yesterday after police accused her of bribe-taking and influence-peddling. Mandela, the president's estranged wife, denied the allegations. Police said information compiled from raids on Mandela's home and other buildings would be submitted to prosecutors, who will decide whether to file charges.

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Former Mexican President Salinas withdrew his candidacy to lead the World Trade Organization a day after his brother's arrest on murder charges. Raul Salinas is charged with masterminding the September 1994 assassination of PRI presidential candidate Colosio. South Korean Ambassador Kim Chul Su said he would intensify his campaign to head the WTO.

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British, French, and German envoys met Serbian President Milosevic in a final bid to persuade him to grant Croatia and Bosnia formal recognition in exchange for a lifting of UN sanctions. The group was scheduled to leave Belgrade yesterday to carry Milosevic's terms to an international meeting in Paris. Meanwhile, a UN cargo plane came under fire as it was taking off at Sarajevo airport, forcing the suspension of UN flights to the city. Serb forces in Croatia also canceled clearance for two aid convoys headed for the Bihac enclave.

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Fighting resumed in the suburbs of Grozny, while sniper fire continued in the Chechen capital, now largely in Russian hands. Russian Defense Minister Grachev said the army would quickly subdue three remaining rebel strongholds.

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Ukrainian Prime Minister Vitaly Masol, widely considered to be reluctant to carry out market reforms, turned in his resignation to President Kuchma. Kuchma offered no comment, but his colleagues said the move was a positive step for the reform process in Ukraine.

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Former Italian Prime Minister Andreotti was indicted for allegedly consorting with the Mafia. A Sicilian court set a trial date for Sept. 26. He would be the most senior Italian official ever to face trial on Mafia charges.

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The Canadian economy grew by 4.5 percent in 1994, topping the 1993 pace of 2.2 percent, Statistics Canada said. It was the best showing in six years, and economists said more stellar growth lies ahead.

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Japan's government suffered its biggest drop in tax revenues in 38 years in January, the Finance Ministry said. It attributed the drop to the Kobe earthquake and a special income-tax rebate.

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Imelda Marcos, wife of the late Philippines dictator, declared her candidacy for Congress. Marcos was convicted of corruption charges in 1993 but remains free on bail.

THE US

Americans' income grew twice as fast as spending in January, the Commerce Department said. Personal income grew 0.9 percent, the biggest gain in three months, while spending increased 0.4 percent. Disposable income -- income after taxes -- climbed 0.7 percent. Commerce also said new-home sales rose 3.8 percent, the second-straight monthly increase. The Labor Department said first-time jobless claims fell 13,000 to 331,000. The more-reliable four-week average, however, increased slightly, to 335,500.

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Republicans predicted the voters would punish President Clinton and the Democrats if the balanced-budget amendment was defeated. As of press time, supporters appeared one vote shy of the 67 needed for Senate passage, and majority leader Dole had scheduled a vote for yesterday afternoon. Six wavering Democrats seeking to exempt Social Security from deficit-cutting efforts said the GOP had not offered enough.

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The House began debate on a bill to compensate landowners for losses resulting from federal actions. The administration opposes the proposal, saying it could cost millions of dollars and threaten environmental protection. The measure is particularly aimed at federal-wetlands and endangered-species protection. A vote was expected today.

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A House committee voted to reward states that reduce out-of-wedlock births without increasing the number of abortions. The panel, working on welfare reform, agreed to reduce a family's welfare benefits each month that a child's father is not identified. It also decided to allow any Medicaid recipient who qualified as of Sept. 15, 1995, to remain eligible.

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The space shuttle Endeavour lifted off with seven astronauts on a 15-1/2 day mission. The longest-ever shuttle flight will probe ultraviolet light from stars and quasars. Meanwhile, NASA said it plans to launch an unmanned craft to orbit and map the moon in June 1997.

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Clinton attacked what he called Republicans' ''new form of isolationism.'' Speaking at a forum in Washington, he said the GOP approach would ''weaken America'' and ''have us face the future alone.'' Senator Dole stressed internationalist themes, attacking the administration's ''misguided devotion'' to Russian President Yeltsin and failures in Bosnia. Speaker Gingrich rejected the isolationist label.

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Senator Lugar was scheduled to appear on CNN's ''Larry King Live'' to announce his candidacy for president, an aide said. The moderate Republican is considered an expert on agriculture and foreign-policy issues.

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House Republicans and GOP governors agreed on a proposal to give states more control over the food-stamp program but preserve federal direction. The deal would allow states that use plastic welfare cards instead of coupons to run their own programs using federal grants. States could dock the food-stamp benefits of welfare recipients who refuse to work and could give cash instead of food stamps to the working poor.

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A fourth juror was dismissed in the O. J. Simpson trial. Defense witness Rosa Lopez was set to return for more videotaped testimony. Judge Ito was also expected to decide whether he would sanction the defense further for withholding an audiotape of Lopez's first interview.

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ETCETERA

It takes no talent to wave your arms around about the balanced budget. The talent is in the specific cuts.''

Sen. Richard Lugar, Republican presidential candidate

Sheryl Crow's ''All I Wanna Do'' won record of the year and Tony Bennett's ''MTV Unplugged'' was named best album, as the 37th annual Grammy Awards spread top honors across music generations Wednesday night. Between the newcomer and the veteran was Bruce Springsteen, who won the top song-writing honor for song-of-the-year ''Streets of Philadelphia.'' The film ''The Lion King'' produced four winners, including Elton John's male pop vocal performance award for ''Can You Feel the Love Tonight.''

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New York cabbie Edouard Fontin didn't want to make a big deal of his turning in a briefcase containing $35,000 in jewelry. But for jeweler Lois Foster, it was ''something that was wonderful about New York.''

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When policeman Philip Gage stumbled across some Roman coins in a British field three years ago, he had little idea it would help lead archaeologists to more than 1,500 silver and 6,000 bronze coins from the 4th century BC. The British Museum will keep the treasure. But Gage gets a reward.

Top 10 TV Shows, Feb. 20-26

Rank/Show/Network/Rating

1. ''ER,'' NBC, 24.3, 23.2 million homes

2. ''Seinfeld,'' NBC, 22.4, 21.4 million homes

3. ''Friends,'' NBC, 20.8, 19.8 million homes

4. ''Home Improvement,'' ABC, 18.9, 18.0 million homes

4. ''60 Minutes,'' CBS, 18.9, 18.0 million homes

6. ''Frasier,'' NBC, 18.8, 17.9 million homes

7. ''NYPD Blue,'' ABC, 17.7, 16.9 million homes

8. ''Murder, She Wrote,'' CBS, 17.6, 16.8 million homes

9. ''Friends,'' NBC, 17.5, 16.7 million homes

10. ''Grace Under Fire,'' ABC, 17.0, 16.2 million homes

10. ''20-20,'' ABC, 17.0, 16.2 million homes

(Ratings equal percentage of American homes with TVs)

- A. C. Nielsen Co.

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