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News In Brief

By CompiledLawrence J. GoodrichSuzanne L. MacLachlan, and Peter E. Nordahl / March 22, 1995



The World

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Japanese police reportedly want to question a hospitalized man about the Tokyo subway nerve-gas attack. Eyewitnesses said they saw the man, who was injured in the attack, placing a gas container on a train. At press time, eight people had died in the attack, some 4,700 had been treated, and 700 were still in the hospital. The controversial Aum Shinri Kyo Buddhist religious group angrily denied press reports that it was involved. (Story, Page 6.)

Bosnian Serbs shelled Tuzla for a second day. Government forces reportedly won ground north of Travnik and on the Majevica heights overlooking Tuzla. Firing around Sarajevo also increased. UN officials warned the new fighting could lead to collapse of a shaky four-month cease-fire, which expires May 1. (Croatia, Page 1.)

Turkish jets bombed Kurdish rebel camps, and 35,000 troops secured a 25-mile (40-kilometer) zone inside Iraq. But some reports said separatists may have escaped back into Turkey. The camps are located in the Western-protected safe haven for Iraqi Kurds. In Germany, a Kurdish bombing campaign against Turkish interests continued for the eighth straight night.

Italian Renato Ruggiero looks set to become head of the World Trade Organization. The US was reportedly prepared to support him, and rival Kim Chul Su of South Korea withdrew. Kim will become a deputy head instead. Mexican ex-President Salinas withdrew earlier after his brother's arrest for murder. The moves end months of wrangling.

Crimea's parliament Speaker insisted the region's constitution remains in force despite a Ukrainian parliamentary ruling abolishing it.The region has been at loggerheads with Kiev over autonomy since the breakup of the Soviet Union. A Russian vice premier visiting Kiev called it an internal Ukrainian matter.

A Mexican court sentenced the assassin of a ruling-party leader to 50 years in prison. Six others have been sentenced; the brother of former President Salinas faces charges of masterminding the crime. Meanwhile, thousands of debtors surrounded the Interior Ministry March 20 to protest soaring interest rates.

Israel's deputy foreign minister made a surprise visit to Cairo to discuss the peace process and nuclear nonproliferation. In Israel, police banned cars entering from Gaza after they discovered a truck full of explosives. They arrested two Palestinians they said were planning a major attack.

US officials expressed concern over reports of a new Russian offensive in Chechnya. The reports came on the eve of Secretary of State Christopher's meeting with Foreign Minister Kozyrev. The US is also upset about planned Russian sales of nuclear equipment to Iran.

Namibia's President Nujoma was inaugurated for his second term as the nation celebrated five years of independence from South Africa. Nujoma named himself police minister March 20, causing concern about concentration of power.

Troops patrolled Bujumbura's streets after two days of ethnic violence between Burundi's Hutus and Tutsis. Six people were reported killed and 11 wounded March 20; 17 were murdered a day earlier.

Suspected Islamist gunmen killed a top news media executive in Algeria. The day before, female journalist Rachida Hammadi was wounded and her sister killed in another attack. The Islamic Salvation Front told government workers to quit their jobs or be killed.

India's Congress Party avoided a split when dissident A. K. Antony was named chief minister of Kerala State.

The US

President Clinton urged quick passage of a bill that would give him power to slash individual items from federal spending bills. Republican lawmakers filed a motion calling for a vote March 22 to stop a Democratic filibuster. The 54 GOP senators need six Democrats to side with them to bring the bill to a vote. (Story, Page 3.)

House GOP leaders want to level off defense spending at $270 billion a year through the end of the century. The plan would result in a drop in the military's buying power. It also indicates that GOP leaders would not protect the Pentagon as they seek ways to balance the federal budget and cut taxes.

More than 100 House Republicans asked GOP leaders to limit a $500-a-child tax cut to families earning $95,000 or less. Senator Packwood said cutting the deficit may require raising tax revenues in addition to reducing spending. The Finance Committee earlier went along with a House move eliminating a tax break for broadcast or cable TV companies that sell properties to minorities. Packwood also mentioned the possibility of capping the home mortgage deduction at $250,000.