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News In Brief

By CompiledSuzanne L. MacLachlanShelby Siems, and Peter E. Nordahl / May 26, 1995



The US

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The Senate voted yesterday 61-38 to cut $16.4 billion from current federal spending, but President Clinton promised to veto the measure because it would take money from schools and job training. The House passed the bill last week, 235-189, a margin that, like the Senate vote, was short of the two-thirds needed to defeat a veto. Meanwhile, the Senate also planned to approve a GOP plan for balancing the budget in seven years. It would kill or reshape hundreds of programs, claiming savings of some $1 trillion.

A defense blueprint ready for House floor debate seeks to end a 10-year slide in military spending while requiring the military to discharge servicemen with AIDS and bar abortions at overseas military hospitals. The House National Security committee on Wednesday recommended the $267 billion defense spending bill -- $9.5 billion above Clinton's request.

In an abrupt change of pace, House Republicans said they are delaying final action until next month on a bill that would cut foreign aid and restructure the State Department. A House International Relations Committee spokesman said it was a matter of too little time to deal with too many amendments.

Federal prosecutors brought assault and firearms charges yesterday against White House trespasser Leland Modjeski. Authorities believe Modjeski may have been trying to hurt himself rather than the president when he jumped a White House fence Tuesday night carrying an unloaded revolver.

In economic news, sales of existing homes sank 6.4 percent in April to the lowest level in nearly three years as consumers grew more cautious amid signs of slower economic growth. And the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits shot up by 13,000 last week to the highest level in 10 months.

Taking the offensive again, the National Rifle Association warned members of an impending ''police state'' and urged them to attend town meetings with lawmakers to denounce Clinton's policies. The group is sending postcards to lawmakers in its drive to repeal the assault-weapons ban. A gun-control advocate responded by calling NRA leaders ''fear mongers'' and ''extremists.''

FBI Director Freeh said foreign control of telecommunications networks presents ''substantial and unacceptable'' risks to law enforcement, intelligence, and national security. Freeh raised his concerns in a letter to the House Commerce Committee as it began considering a bill that would rewrite telecommunications laws.

CIA Director Deutch said he wants to create an agency combining the intelligence offices that interpret spy photos. Photo analysis is now spread among the CIA and Pentagon departments.

''See-no-evil'' export policies have put American-supplied weapons at the center of most of the world's ethnic and territorial conflicts, according to a survey by the New School of Social Research. One or more parties obtained US weaponry or military technology in the period leading to the outbreak of armed conflict in 45 of 50 cases.

A Senate panel yesterday approved the nomination of former Governor Carlin to be the next US archivist, despite objections about his qualifications.

O. J. Simpson's lawyers think they've found a way for their client to tell his story without opening himself up to hostile prosecution questions. They say jurors should be allowed to hear a taped statement Simpson gave police just hours after the double murder. That's because a prosecution witness referred to the statement in testimony Wednesday. The defense and prosecution were directed to present arguments on the subject yesterday.

The World

NATO warplanes bombed an ammunition depot near the Bosnian Serb headquarters of Pale yesterday. NATO was making good on a UN threat to punish the Serbs for shelling Sarajevo and for failing to comply with an ultimatum to return four pieces of heavy weaponry to UN-guarded collection sites. Serbs hit Sarajevo Wednesday with phosphorous bombs in violation of international treaties. The US said it was fully behind the NATO air raid.

Israeli officials welcomed an announcement by US Secretary of State Christopher that the Jewish state and Syria had agreed on a framework for security arrangements for the Golan Heights after an Israeli troop withdrawal. Prime Minister Rabin said the understanding would allow ''free negotiations'' on security aspects of the peace deal. The tough issues, however, such as the pullout timetable and the nature of peace still must be resolved, he said. (Story, Page 1.)