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News In Brief

By CompiledSuzanne L. MacLachlanDavid Mutch, and Peter E. Nordahl / June 2, 1995



The US

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President Clinton made two stops in Montana during a swing through the West. He defended his land-use policies and renewed his call for more civility in the nation's political rhetoric. During a televised ''town hall'' meeting, he was to make the case for increased fees and restrictions on grazing, mining, and logging on federal land in a region known for its antigovernment feelings. In 1992, he was the first Democrat to carry Montana since President Johnson.

Personal income and spending both rose only 0.3 percent in April, further signs the economy is slowing, the Commerce Department said. It also said factory orders fell 1.9 percent to $293.96 billion, the biggest tumble in nine months. Jobless claims rose by 9,000 last week to 389,000, the highest level since January 1994, the Labor Department said. The four-week moving average climbed to 376,000, the highest level since October, 1992. Manufacturing activity stalled in May as growth in the nation's factories skidded to a halt, a survey by the National Association of Purchasing Management showed.

Taking Hollywood to task for movies and music promoting casual sex and graphic sex, presidential hopeful Dole urged the entertainment industry to clean up its act to ''help our nation maintain the innocence of our children.''

Interior Secretary Babbitt approved transfer of federal land in the Mojave Desert to California for the nation's first state-licensed, low-level radioactive waste dump. A court suit is pending over the 10-year-old issue.

A joint House-Senate committee is working on a budget bill that would allow oil drilling in a nonwilderness section of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. Alaska's two senators want to rename the area to make it easier to introduce oil exploration to the northeast coast of the state.

The US government can't bar its employees from accepting travel expenses for unofficial speeches about agency business, the District of Columbia US appeals court said. The overturned rule allowed federal employees to take free trips to give speeches ''only by toeing the agency line.''

More than 1 in 5 Americans unknowingly drink tap water laced with lead, radiation, or other contaminants, a study by two environmental groups said, and the problem is growing. They predicted increased health problems if a House bill weakening the 1972 Clean Water Act passes.

The Mississippi River, 10 feet above flood stage, was expected to start falling today, as was the Missouri River. Residents continued to clean up after flooding in Missouri and Illinois.

A black couple in Florida, who demanded a new trial after being told that an all-white jury made racist jokes during deliberations in their suit against an insurance company, settled out of court. Meanwhile, Los Angeles County's presiding judge, pointing to juror problems in the O.J. Simpson trial, said the jury system is on the brink of collapse.

Eastman Kodak said it has lost $6 billion since 1975 through documented anticompetitive practices by Japan and Fuji Photo Film Co. Kodak has filed an unfair trade practices petition with the US government. K-mart, meanwhile, will close 72 of its 2,300 stores, cutting 5,800 jobs in a restructuring move. It will also open 150 new stores. Two former American Honda Motor Co. executives were convicted of accepting bribes in return for providing sought-after cars and dealerships to dealers.

A broad international conventional arms agreement denying sales to ''pariah countries'' may be sealed by year's end, a US official said.

A black man was charged with arson in the burning of Randolph County High School in Alabama. A white principal had threatened to cancel a prom if mixed-race couples attended, prompting a racial incident.

Teenagers are more likely to be victims of violent crime than seniors, a Justice Department survey said. It said 12 to15-year-olds face a 1 in 8 chance of being a crime victim, but those 65 or older only a 1 in 179 chance. The mayor of San Francisco, meanwhile, proposed keeping youths under 18 off the streets late at night.

The World

Bosnian Serbs stepped up their defiance of the West yesterday, holding a civilian UN official hostage and shooting at UN peacekeepers near Sarajevo. Serbs and Bosnian government forces battled for control of all but one of the nine UN observation posts vacated by retreating or kidnapped peacekeepers. Britain and France announced that they were creating a rapid-reaction strike force to protect peacekeepers. Germany sought support from opposition lawmakers for sending German warplanes to help UN troops reposition themselves in Bosnia. US President Clinton also readied Americans for the possibility that US soldiers may enter Bosnia to help the UN forces move to safer positions. Congress demanded more details, and Republicans warned Clinton against going ahead without their approval. European and NATO defense ministers are to meet in Paris Saturday to discuss the hostage standoff. (Story, Page 1.)