News In Brief

THE WORLD

World leaders at the UN poverty summit in Copenhagen signed a document that would would wipe out poverty, social injustice, and unemployment. Supporters say the document will provide a road map for anti-poverty action for the future. The US said it will funnel more of its aid through independent organizations. Eastern European nations urged world leaders not to neglect their post-cold-war problems.

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Croatian President Tudjman agreed to let a reduced UN peacekeeping force remain as a buffer between his forces and Serb fighters, the UN said. Tudjman met yesterday with UN Secretary Boutros-Ghali. The compromise caps months of diplomacy in which UN and Western diplomats have sought to keep peacekeepers in Croatia to contain fighting in the former Yugoslavia. Meanwhile, mortar and artillery rounds rocked Sarajevo in the worst fighting since a cease-fire began Jan. 1.

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Six Gulf countries called for UN sanctions on Iraq to remain unchanged after US Secretary of State Christopher emphasized the need for a united front. After meeting with Christopher in Saudi Arabia, foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council hailed the UN Security Council's ''firm stand toward Iraq.'' Christopher has been traveling in the Middle East on a peace mission.

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At least nine people were killed yesterday in Karachi, Pakistan. Police rounded up about 77 people in a hunt for the killers of two Americans who were shot last week. Pakistan said India was partially to blame for the recent spate of violence.

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The US backed China's admission as a founder member of the World Trade Organization and said it will be flexible and realistic in talks on entry conditions. China's previous attempts to join the WTO were thwarted by the US and European Union.

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Riot police stormed the official residence of South Korea's National Assembly Speaker Hwang Nak Joo, freeing him and ending a six-day protest by opposition lawmakers.who have occupied his residence since March 6.

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Mexican business and labor leaders rejected President Zedillo's harsh prescription for Mexico's troubled economy despite his insistence that he needs their help. The plan, announced March 9, cuts government spending and sharply increases taxes and the price of public services. The program doesn't require the approval of business and labor. (Story, Page 8.)

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The head of the Kremlin-backed National Revival Government said he would try to persuade rebel towns in Chechnya to surrender to avoid further Russian attacks. Under the terms of the peace offer, rebel towns are to surrender heavy weapons, pledge to expel militants, and refrain from firing on Russian troops. In exchange, they would be allowed to choose their own leaders and form self-defense forces.

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Government troops in Afghanistan forced a new student militia out of Kabul's southern suburbs after almost a week of fighting that has killed or wounded nearly 1,000 people. The US said it will work with whatever government emerges in strife-torn Afghanistan but will hold it accountable to international standards of conduct.

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Gunfire and grenade explosions rocked the capital of Burundi after a Hutu government minister was assassinated. Police have arrested two suspects in the killing.

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Investigators digging in a remote Vietnamese jungle said they have found for the first time body tissue of a US serviceman killed in the Vietnam War.

THE US

President Clinton nominated Deputy Defense Secretary John Deutch to head the CIA after retired Air Force Gen. Michael Carns withdrew from consideration. Carns said he didn't want to be subjected to the ''venomous and abusive'' attacks that have become part of Washington's confirmation process. Clinton said if Deutch is confirmed by the Senate, he will elevate him to the status of a Cabinet secretary.

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Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, who arrived in the US on Saturday, denied reports that he earned his visa and permission to raise funds in the US by promising to discuss decommissioning IRA arms with Clinton. Adams is on a 10-day visit to the US.

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Clinton drew battle lines over GOP plans to slash social-welfare spending. In his weekly radio address, he defended subsidized school lunches and efforts to rid schools of drugs. He accused Republicans of offering tax cuts to the wealthy at the expense of poor children. Congressman Klug responded that aid will still be there for children who need it.

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The House passed a bill making it easier for companies to prevail in product-liability cases and harder for consumers to win certain damage awards. The White House said the bill and two companion measures don't do enough to protect the interests of consumers. Sponsors of the package admitted that its future in the Senate is uncertain.

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New flooding was forecast for central California. Nearly a week of powerful Pacific storms has caused mud slides and flooded freeways in southern California. Hundreds of homes and businesses in northern California also have been flooded, bringing down trees and power lines. Many areas are still recovering from flooding in January.

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Secretary of State Christopher, the administration's most outspoken critic of a major US oil company's lucrative contract with Iran, said he would have to drop out of an ongoing review because Conoco had retained his Los Angeles law firm. The administration may order Conoco to abandon a $1 billion contract to develop a huge offshore oil field on the Persian Gulf.

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Boxes of secret US intelligence documents were found in a vacant UN office in Somalia a few days before the pullout of its peacekeepers, the Washington Post reported. The paper said there's no evidence the documents fell into the hands of Somali warlords, but some administration officials are troubled by the breach of security. Clinton has ordered a probe.

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Clinton recommended that New York investment banker James Wolfensohn become president of the World Bank. The US, as the government with the largest financial participation in the bank, traditionally nominates its chief.

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Safety experts reportedly pushed the Federal Aviation Administration to tighten its standards for flying in icy weather more than 10 years before a commuter plane crashed in Indiana last October. According to a report in the New York Times, the FAA responded that it would be economically prohibitive to design airplanes to cope with freezing rain, freezing drizzle, and other rare conditions.

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The Nation of Islam's financial empire is saddled with debt, failure, and fraud allegations, but leader Farrakhan and some of his relatives live lavishly, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune. The IRS has filed more than $354,000 in liens against a Nation-linked security company and is trying to collect $93,000 in taxes from a Nation-linked soap company, the Tribune said. The Chicago building that Farrakhan calls his Sales and Office Building allegedly owes more than $1 million in property taxes.

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About 1,000 people marked the 30th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery, Ala., voting-rights march by retracing its steps. The march didn't draw the crowds many hoped it would. Jesse Jackson and other black leaders spoke from the steps of the Alabama Capitol.

ETCETERA

We've never had a Speaker named Newt, and we've never had a president named Bob, so think about it.''

--Sen. Robert Dole

Michael Jordan may be hitting the basketball court for the Chicago Bulls again, and Madison Avenue can barely contain itself. Jordan makes $31 million a year from commercials.

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Robert Zemeckis, director of ''Forrest Gump,'' won the top award from the Director's Guild of America Saturday. The award often reflects who will be best director at the Academy Awards.

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Picabo Street Saturday became the first US skier to win the World Cup downhill title, in Lenzerheide, Switzerland. She now has won more downhills than any US skier.

Week's Top Video Rentals

1. ''Clear and Present Danger,'' (Paramount)

2. ''True Lies,'' (FoxVideo)

3. ''Natural Born Killers.'' (Warner)

4. ''Wolf,'' (Columbia TriStar)

5. ''Color of Night,'' (Hollywood)

6. ''The Mask,'' (Turner)

7. ''It Could Happen to You,'' (Columbia)

8. ''The Client,'' (Warner)

9. ''Timecop,'' (MCA-Universal)

10. ''Corrina, Corrina,'' (Turner)

11. ''The Little Rascals,'' (MCA-Universal)

12. ''The Shadow,'' (MCA-Universal)

13. ''Blown Away,'' (MGM-UA)

14. ''Renaissance Man,'' (Touchstone)

15. ''Little Giants,'' (Warner)

Copyright 1995, Billboard Publications Inc.

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