News In Brief

The World

Russia's lower house of parliament voted 286-1 to ban the use of the Army in Chechnya and ordered the government to begin peace talks with the separatist rebels immediately. The measure, which requires a cease-fire ''without any preconditions,'' must go to the upper house and then to President Yeltsin. It also prohibits use of the Army unless Russia is invaded by a foreign power. The International Monetary Fund, meanwhile, approved a $6.8 billion loan to Russia. In Moscow and across Russia, thousands of workers protested unpaid wages. Labor unions said some workers have not been paid for two years.

UN inspectors are checking reports that Iraq is developing nuclear weapons. The inspectors are expected to report their findings this week. Iran's Foreign Minister Velayati, meanwhile, reiterated that Russia's proposed sale of nuclear-power technology to Iran wouldn't be used for military purposes. North Korea said continued US pressure to force it to accept nuclear reactors from South Korea could lead to war.

Turkish General Erim said Kurdish rebels, scattered from mountain camps in northern Iraq, will return as soon as Turkey withdraws. The Turkish Army will have to make periodic strikes against them in northern Iraq in the future, he said. Kurdish exiles earlier set up a parliament-in-exile in The Hague, seeking political relations with the international community. US Deputy Secretary of State Talbott, visiting Ankara, said he told Turkish officials that their government should give its 12 million Kurds their full rights.

Contact Group peace envoys -- working to extend a much-violated cease-fire -- refused to fly into Sarajevo because Bosnian Serbs would not guarantee security of flights. The US said a former Serbian official gave a war-crimes tribunal in The Hague documents linking top Serbs, including President Milosevic, to atrocities in the war in former Yugoslavia.

Armed men killed 28 people and wounded 54 in Zaire near the Rwandan border, the UN said. The attacks appeared to have been carried out by Rwandan Tutsis in retaliation for cross-border attacks by Hutu extremists in exile in Zaire.

Zimbabwe's elections last weekend were little more than a rubber stamp for President Mugabe's autocratic rule for the next five years, critics in Harare said. Mugabe controls appointments to 30 of the legislature's 150 seats, and the opposition failed to field candidates for 55 seats, giving him control even before the vote. His party picked up 63 of the 65 contested seats.

A Channel-Tunnel passenger train got tangled in overhead power lines, stranding its 250 passengers and hundreds of others waiting to cross the Channel. The blow came on top of Eurotunnel's announcement that with $12.8 billion in debts, it could be wiped out unless business is strong in the coming months.

The PLO and Islamic groups in the Gaza Strip rejected speculation that a civil war is looming. Terrorism against Israelis in Gaza, including a bombing that killed seven people last Sunday, has pushed usual tensions even higher. The PLO has so far arrested and disarmed up to 300 Hamas and Islamic Jihad members.

Nelson Mandela reinstated his estranged wife, Winnie, as South African deputy arts minister after she sued him over the dismissal.

Algerian forces killed 20 Muslim guerrillas in a four-day sweep. More than 30,000 people have died in the nation's civil strife. (Stories, Pages 1 and 7.)

Spain is sending a third naval patrol boat to monitor disputed fishing grounds in international waters off Newfoundland, the defense ministry said yesterday.

The US

Treasury Secretary Rubin said the US wants to raise its profile in the fastest-growing region of the world when finance ministers from the 18-nation Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum meet this week. Rubin was scheduled to leave yesterday on a nine-day trip to the APEC meeting in Bali, Indonesia, and then to India. President Clinton said he would try to find a way to help Pakistan get back money it spent in advance for military equipment and would try to ease US sanctions imposed on the country because of its suspected nuclear-weapons program.

House Speaker Gingrich said Republicans have a new list of five major goals but will not try to pass the measures in 100 days. He said welfare reform tops the list. Agriculture Secretary Glickman said a GOP plan to shift control of a federal nutrition program over to the states could jeopardize children's health, calling it a ''national security issue.''

Senator Dole remains well ahead of his Republican rivals for the party's nomination, according to a CNN/USA Today poll. Representative Dornan of California is expected to formally announce his candidacy today.

Clinton is set to order new rules in the wake of the Aldrich Ames spy case that would force millions of government workers to give up the privacy of their bank records and credit history, the Washington Post reported. All workers who obtain a clearance to see classified information would have to let federal investigators review their private records to check if they might be spying for a foreign power.

State and local governments should gain greater authority over environmental decisions, and Congress should relax laws that shackle the EPA, a National Academy of Public Administration study said. Congress authorized the $1 billion study 18 months ago. (Story, Page 3.)

Border Patrol agents routinely abuse people trying to enter the US from Mexico, Human Rights Watch-Americas said. The Justice Department denied the charges. Immigration and Naturalization Service Commissioner Doris Meissner, meanwhile, predicted that applications for citizenship would double to 800,000 this year, the Washington Post reported. Meissner said she would ask Congress for permission to nearly double the $29 million the agency now spends on naturalizing new citizens.

A judge refused to temporarily halt the enforcement of 8-foot buffer zones around abortion clinics in Pensacola, Fla., where two doctors and a volunteer escort were shot to death. A federal grand jury indicted a Washington State man for allegedly making threatening phone calls to a national anti-abortion hotline and an affiliated counseling office. And the founder of the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue said close ties between the Republican Party and the religious right are ''starting to unravel.''

Consumer prices edged up 0.2 percent in March, the smallest increase this year, the Labor Department said. A sharp drop in fruit and vegetable prices helped offset higher costs for airline fares and auto loans. Many economists said the smaller increase provided more evidence that the Fed-orchestrated economic slowdown is helping to control inflationary pressures. A Money magazine poll said many Americans are worrying less about their pocketbooks but believe the country is in a long-term slide.

A federal magistrate refused to dismiss murder-for-hire charges against Malcolm X's daughter but ruled that her ''confession'' to the FBI can't be used as evidence. FBI agents violated Qubilah Shabazz's constitutional rights when they entered her home, the judge said.

A group led by investor Kirk Kerkorian offered to buy Chrysler Corp. for $22.8 billion. The $55-a-share proposal would be the biggest American corporate acquisition since the $25 billion takeover of RJR Nabisco six years ago. Chrysler said it would review the takeover bid.

Defense lawyers in the O. J. Simpson trial asked the court to investigate whether prosecutors are trying to cause a mistrial by selective dismissal of jurors on misconduct claims. Six jurors have been replaced. Criminalist Dennis Fung is to take the stand for a fifth day of testimony.

Etcetera

David Guterson won the PEN-Faulkner Award for Fiction for his first novel, ''Snow Falling on Cedars.'' Judges considered 300 novels and short-story collections published in the US before awarding Guterson the $15,000 top prize.

A snail bred to be tasty has instead developed a taste of its own -- for Vietnamese rice. The snails are chomping through paddies at much faster than a snail's pace, ravaging the crop that feeds Vietnam's 72 million people.

Private operators will take over beauty and barber shops in the US House, which face a probable $100,000 loss, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee said.

Top 10 Singles

1. ''This Is How We Do It,'' Montell Jordan (Island)

2. ''Red Light Special,'' TLC (LaFace)

3. ''Candy Rain,'' Soul for Real (Uptown) (Gold)

4. ''Take a Bow,'' Madonna (Maverick-Sire) (Gold)

5. ''Run Away,'' Real McCoy (Arista)

6. ''Freak Like Me,'' Adina Howard (Mecca Don - EastWest)

7. ''Strong Enough,'' Sheryl Crow (A&M)

8. ''Big Poppa -- Warning,'' The Notorious B.I.G. (Bad Boy) (Gold)

9. ''I Know,'' Dionne Farris (Columbia)

10. ''Creep,'' TLC (LaFace) Platinum)

(Platinum signifies more than 1 million copies sold; gold signifies more than 500,000 copies sold)

Copyright 1995, Billboard-Soundscan Inc.- Broadcast Data Systems

``I believe Russia is close to a turning point in resolving its economic difficulties.''

IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus on IMF approval of a $6.8 billion loan to Russia

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