News In Brief

The US

The media and entertainment industries should help parents shield children from violent and sexual images, President Clinton said yesterday at a family-values conference in Nashville. The two-day event focuses on how television, movies, and technology affect child rearing. The conference organizer, Vice President Gore, advocates built-in computer chips for TVs that can block shows with violent or sexual images. Like Senator Dole's recent statements critical of Hollywood, Clinton's comments are part of an emerging campaign theme of responsibility.

Clinton will likely approve a list of military base closures from an independent commission. He was assured that jobs on military bases can be privatized, especially in electorally rich Texas and California.

People and stores are profiting from illegal trafficking in food stamps. But the Agriculture Department lacks the resources to catch or prevent them, a government watchdog agency reports. There are just 46 investigators nationwide to track fraud in the $23 billion program that benefits 27 million Americans.

Clinton will move to establish full diplomatic relations with Vietnam today, White House officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The US should recognize Taiwan regardless of the impact on relations with China, House Speaker Gingrich said. Yet it would be wrong to isolate mainland China, which thinks of Taiwan as a renegade province, Gingrich said.

A US official met with Harry Wu, a Chinese-born American human-rights activist who was detained upon entering China three weeks ago. Wu is charged with espionage and faces execution. He was investigating China's alleged sales of organs from executed prisoners. Senator Smith of New Hampshire urged tough sanctions because of the incident, including denial of most-favored-nation trading status. The action has further chilled Sino-US relations. China withdrew its ambassador from Washington last month when the Taiwanese president made a private visit to the US.

The White House said a Whitewater investigation in Congress will yield no evidence of a coverup. Buttressing this, Hillary Clinton's top aide passed a lie-detector test, denying that she removed a file of tax-related papers from former counsel Vincent Foster's office on the night of his death. A secret service agent said he saw the aide exit the office with such a file. Administration officials said the inconsistencies are minor and reflect hazy memories.

Before standing trial, Susan Smith faces a hearing to determine if she can understand the events around her and assist in her defense. She confessed to the drowning death of her two sons. Reporters and media trucks have converged on Union, S.C., for the trial, but the judge will keep TV cameras out of the courtroom.

Beginning his defense, O.J. Simpson's lawyers are portraying him as a benevolent and generous man incapable of murder. They plan to call character witnesses who saw him in the hours after his wife's murder - from his daughter to hundreds of passengers on a flight to Chicago.

California has a tentative budget settlement. Leaders in Sacramento reached agreement after the state operated without a budget for nine days. Governor Wilson refused to say if his controversial 15 percent tax cut is still in the deal. Lawmakers hope to pass the budget by Friday.

Seventy-two percent of US cities operated in the black in 1994. Last year 69 percent took in as much as they spent, according to the National League of Cities. Also, 60 percent of city finance officers say they are better able to meet financial needs than before. The league says cities are serving taxpayers better, though budget pressures remain.

A record number of US newborns are living until their first birthday. But the gap between infant mortality rates for blacks and whites is widening, a US health agency said. The total mortality rate for 1994 was 7.9 of every 1,000. But blacks have a mortality rate of 16.5 per 1,000; the rate for whites was 6.9.

Firefighters gained control of a raging brush fire near Scottsdale and Fountain Hills, Ariz. The blaze began from a lightning strike and burned 20,000 acres, some near 300 luxury homes in the retirement communities.

The World

UN senior commanders issued the threat of NATO air strikes to Bosnian Serb troops braced for attack outside the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica. The Serbs have detained 32 Dutch peacekeepers, and more Dutch soldiers are guarding the town entrance. Some 4,000 people reportedly have fled the fighting, and Bosnian President Izetbegovic asked for an emergency meeting of the Security Council. UN officials said the Serb Army began shelling the small eastern town of Zepa, about 12 miles southwest of Srebrenica.

Burmese dissident leader Suu Kyi was freed yesterday from house arrest one day before completing her six-year detention. The Nobel Prize winner and daughter of revered independence leader Gen. Aung San was placed under house arrest for ''endangering the state.'' She was never formally charged or tried.

Russia's Constitutional Court opened yesterday with lawmakers demanding it declare the seven-month Chechen war illegal. The lawmakers claim that President Yeltsin needed legislative approval to use force. Yeltsin claims presidential powers gave him the right to authorize the war. If the court sides with the lawmakers, Yeltsin wouldn't be required to halt military action, but it would be a blow to his credibility.

Iraq's Baath Party, in power since 1968, reelected Saddam Hussein leader of its policymaking body. The party sacked or demoted three men belonging to tribes opposed to his regime, but three of the 16 members of the Regional Command, which shapes government policy, retained their posts.

A raid by 150 masked French commandos on the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior II as it neared a French nuclear testing site in the South Pacific has stirred up the region's waters. The 15-member South Pacific Forum denounced the action, and New Zealand and Australia called the move excessive and irrational. The commandos detained the ship's crew but later released them. (Story, Page 1.)

US Middle East Peace Coordinator Ross opened talks with Israeli leaders yesterday in preparation for talks between Syrian and Israeli military experts to be held in Washington in mid-July. Peace talks are stalled over the scope and timing of withdrawal from the Golan Heights, security arrangements, and future ties.

A tense standoff between Northern Ireland Protestant marchers and Roman Catholics determined to keep them away from their homes went into a second day yesterday. Police mounted the biggest operation since last year's twin guerrilla cease-fires to keep order among Protestant ''Orange'' marchers who were prevented by Catholics on Sunday from parading through their area in Portadown.

The Sri Lankan Army resumed its advance into the rebel-held Jaffna Peninsula yesterday, the second day of a major offensive against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Fighting continued south of Sandilipay, the rebel base captured on the first day of the operation.

A flotilla of more than 300 Canadian fishing boats blocked the docking of an Alaskan ferry south of the Alaskan border as part of a growing dispute with the US over salmon fishing. The fishermen are angry that Alaska vetoed a one-year deal between Canada and other US states to conserve salmon stocks.

Pope John Paul pleaded with the world yesterday to knock down obstacles to women's progress, but insisted that the Catholic Church's ban on priesthood was justified.

Etcetera

The 1995 mixed doubles title at Wimbledon belongs to Martina Navratilova and Jonathan Stark, who defeated Gigi Fernandez and Cyril Sil 6-4, 6-4. Navratilova, with 19 overall Wimbledon titles, is one win shy of Billie Jean King's all-time record.

Pedal power is gaining momentum in Amsterdam with a new bicycle project. Riders can punch in their destination on a control panel and deposit a fee to release bikes from the racks to wheel around the city. The project's mastermind, transportation activist Luud Schimmelpenninck, hopes to see the 1,000-bike fleet on the streets in three years.

Brazil's public education is the worst in the Americas and third worst in the world after Bangladesh and Bissau, according to a study by the Brazilian government. Only 33 of every 100 Brazilian students make it to the eighth grade.

Winners of the Most Wimbledon Singles Championships

Women

9 - Martina Navratilova, Czech-US, 1978-79, 1982-87, 1990

8 - Helen Wills Moody, US, 1927-30, 1932-33, 1935, 1938

7 - Dorothea Douglass Chambers, Britain, 1903-04, 1906, 1910-11, 1913-14

6 - Blanche Bingley Hillyard, Britain, 1886, 1889, 1894, 1897, 1899-1900; Steffi Graf, Germany, 1988-89, 1991-93, 1995; Billie Jean King, US, 1966-68, 1972-73, 1975; Suzanne Lenglen, France, 1919-23, 1925

5 - Lottie Dod, Britain, 1887-88, 1891-93; Charlotte Cooper-Sterry, Britain, 1895-96, 1898, 1901, 1908

Men

7 - William Renshaw, Britain, 1881-86, 1889

5 - Bjorn Borg, Sweden, 1976-80; H. Laurie Doherty, Britain, 1902-06

4 - Reggie F. Doherty, Britain, 1897-1900; Rod Laver, Australia, 1961-62, 1968-69; Anthony F. Wilding, New Zealand, 1910-13

- Associated Press

'' Union is not ready for this - the explosion of it all.''

- a Union, S.C., merchant on the start of the Susan Smith murder trial

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