News In Brief
Hundreds of Burundians seeking sanctuary in Tanzania were pushed back over the border, and three were reportedly killed by their own army, the UN said. It said the incident was caused by a communications mix-up. The Burundian government said it would investigate reports of ethnic massacres in northeastern Burundi, where about 450 people have been killed in the past two weeks. The Clinton administration, meanwhile, warned Congress that violence in Rwanda and Burundi could spread unless perpetrators are brought to justice. Rwanda began the trials of the first suspects accused of perpetrating the genocide of up to 1 million Tutsis and moderate Hutus last year.
Government troops attacked a hideout of Islamic separatists who ransacked the southern town of Ipil in the Philippines. The gunmen fled into the rugged hinterlands with 23 hostages, most of them women. The Abu Sayyaf group has been linked to defendants in the World Trade Center bombing, plots to assassinate Pope John Paul II, and threats against US airlines.
The European Union accused Canada of sending patrol boats to harass Spanish trawlers in waters off Newfoundland. The EU said Canada had threatened talks in Brussels aimed at resolving the dispute over dwindling fish stocks in the Northwest Atlantic. Canada denied the accusations.
Bosnia's warring sides have rejected new appeals to revive a shattered cease-fire, and heavy fighting in the north is liable to soon spread to other regions, UN observers said. French peacekeepers fired smoke grenades at Bosnian Serb forces yesterday in retaliation for their targeting the main supply road to Sarajevo.
Turkish leaders visiting Britain and the United States tried to fend off criticism of an antirebel drive into Iraq, but Washington continued to press its demand for a guaranteed pullout date. The bodies of three Turkish aid workers killed in Iraq were brought home yesterday. The aid workers were the first Turkish civilians killed since the offensive began March 20. (Story, Page 7.)
After talks with President Clinton, Egyptian President Mubarak said Egypt supports the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty but declined to say whether it would sign an extension of the pact. The Islamic guerrilla group Hamas, meanwhile, criticized the PLO for doing Israel's bidding in the Gaza Strip. Hamas blames Israel and the PLO for the explosion that killed a Hamas guerrilla leader.
An Iraqi lawyer defending two Americans jailed for illegal entry into Iraq said he would appeal their case soon but was not sure of their chances for release.
US attempts to step up political and economic pressure on Iran will fail despite Washington's efforts to win international support, an Iranian newspaper said. The US earlier said it is drafting plans for sanctions on Tehran that include banning US firms from buying Iranian oil. (Story, Page 6.)
The Clinton administration, joined by Japan, Germany, and France, mounted another effort to rescue the dollar, but financial markets continued to batter the US currency. The Federal Reserve and other central banks reportedly spent $2 billion buying dollars Wednesday. The dollar took another beating in Tokyo yesterday, plunging to a postwar record low of 85.35 yen.
Police in Japan for the first time were considering murder charges against members of Aum Shinri Kyo, a religious sect, for a nerve-gas attack on Tokyo's subways, news reports said. Police bolstered their case against the sect by arresting three members after finding metal pipes believed to be pistol parts in their car.
The State Department has dispatched its top investigator to look into charges that violent criminals are being admitted into the US under a program to resettle Iraqi refugees. Senior US officials are discussing ending the program after receiving a cable from the US ambassador to Saudi Arabia condemning it. (Story, Page 1; cable text, Page 18.)
The House GOP's tax-cut bill moves on to an uncertain future in the Senate following its passage by a 246-to-188 vote Wednesday night. Senior Senate Republicans question whether Congress can trim the deficit and reduce taxes at the same time. The bill includes a $500 per-child tax cut for middle-income and affluent families, broadens Individual Retirement Accounts, includes tax breaks for some on Social Security and those who adopt children, ends a minimum tax on big corporations, and lowers capital-gains taxes. Passage of the bill completes House work on the GOP Contract With America. (Editorial, Page 20.)
Most Americans prefer Congress balance the budget over cutting taxes, a poll says. The New York Times-CBS News survey found 56 percent said the budget should be balanced first. Of those interviewed, 47 percent were ''mostly disappointed'' with what Congress had done during the first 100 days, while 39 percent said they were pleased. Only 38 percent had heard about the Contract With America.
According to a Times Mirror Center survey, only 45 percent of adults said they read a newspaper ''yesterday,'' while only 61 percent said they had watched television news. Those are sharp drops from last month's figures. One explanation: 1in 4 said they watched all or most of the live coverage of the O. J. Simpson trial.
In the O. J. Simpson trial, meanwhile, Judge Ito dismissed a sixth juror. A police criminalist told a defense lawyer that physical evidence at the crime scene might have been contaminated before it was tested.
Senate Democrats rejected a deal on $16 billion in domestic-spending cuts negotiated by Senators Daschle and Dole. The compromise would have allowed Democrats to shield housing-modernization, antidrug, and some social programs, while Republicans would get deeper cuts in other areas than they originally sought. Daschle noted that there was no guarantee House Republicans would go along with the compromise.
Acting CIA director Studeman denied CIA complicity in the deaths in Guatemala of an American and a Guatemalan married to an American. But he admitted the agency had failed to give Congress information it had in 1991 about the murder of the American.
Baseball's antitrust exemption struck out with a Senate subcommittee, which approved a partial repeal. Senator Simpson said he will introduce an amendment giving players a say in naming the baseball commissioner.
New jobless claims rose slightly to 341,000 last week, the Labor Department said. The four-week moving average, considered a more accurate barometer, rose to 342,500, the highest level since last July. Meanwhile, major retailers reported slow sales in March.
The administration said it would appeal a federal judge's ruling that its ''don't ask, don't tell'' policy on homosexuals in the military is unconstitutional.
The Federation of State Medical Boards said 3,685 doctors were disciplined last year, up 11.8 percent from 1993. Medical critic Dr. Sidney Wolfe said the boards are still not tough enough, however, and claimed that 80,000 patients die annually from poor care in hospitals.
Auto workers and General Motors settled a five-day-old strike at a Pontiac, Mich., plant that builds pickup trucks.
Swedish police found no trace yesterday of two men who stole pages out of a 6th-century Bible, one of the world's rarest manuscripts, in the Uppsala University library. The thieves ripped two pages from the handwritten Silver Bible, which Swedish troops looted from Prague in 1648.
Cries of ''stop Manhattanization!'' have been echoing through San Francisco ever since planners approved a huge TV screen that would flash advertisements in touristy Union Square. The screen like those in football stadiums and New York City's Times Square -- may be in operation by summer.
The National Park Service says the T-shirt booths near the national monuments in Washington have to go. Vendors sprouted along the Mall after it was publicized that anyone promoting a cause could sell T-shirts. As many as 400 tables appear during warm weather.
The 500 residents of one village in Bangladesh won't soon forget the name of a recent visitor: Hillary Rodham Clinton. The citizens of Rishi Para village have renamed their town ''Hillary Para.''
Top 10 TV Shows, March 27-April 2
1. ''Academy Awards,'' ABC, 32.5, 31.0 million homes
2. ''E.R.,'' NBC, 22.8, 21.8 million homes
3. ''Seinfeld,'' NBC, 20.7, 19.7 million homes
4. ''Friends,'' NBC, 19.2 18.3 million homes
5. ''Home Improvement,'' ABC, 18.2, 17.4 million homes
6. ''Grace Under Fire,'' ABC, 18.1, 17.3 million homes
7. ''Grace Under Fire,'' ABC, 16.5, 15.7 million homes
8. ''20-20,'' ABC, 16.4, 15.6 million homes
9. ''Mad About You,'' NBC, 16.3, 15.5 million homes
10. ''Barbara Walters Special,'' ABC, 15.9, 15.2 million homes
(Rating equals percentage of American homes with TVs)
-- A. C. Nielsen Co.
``We do not necessarily find our sources among the pristine, the honorable, and the elegant.''
Acting CIA Director William O. Studeman