News In Brief

By , Abraham McLaughlin, and Peter Nordahl

The US

The Education Department will issue school-prayer guidelines to all public schools, President Clinton announced, saying some students have been denied their First Amendment rights to religious expression. Education is moving to center stage in Washington, and Clinton's action aimed to preempt the GOP's proposed constitutional amendment on school prayer. (Editorial, Page 20.)

Space shuttle Discovery rocketed into space yesterday morning, carrying a communications satellite that will replace one destroyed when the shuttle Challenger exploded. The Galileo spacecraft, meanwhile, launched a 747-pound probe that will venture into Jupiter's atmosphere.

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Wholesale prices fell for the first time in eight months, the government reported yesterday. Tumbling fruit, vegetable, and gas prices forced overall prices down 0.1 percent. Meanwhile, the number of Americans filing new jobless claims remained unchanged this week, the Labor Department said. Both numbers were evidence of a stabilizing economy. Corporate earnings will soar 20.9 percent above the same period last year, according to IBES Inc., a New York firm.

Budget-hawk Republicans moved to block an arts-funding bill, saying three years would be too long to phase out federal arts agencies. They joined forces with Democrats who oppose wiping out the National Endowment for the Arts and other such agencies. Together they blocked debate on the $12 billion measure, which also funds the Department of Interior. GOP leaders likely will allow a vote on wiping out the agencies more quickly.

Clinton is likely to approve the military base-closure list, but today he accused the independent panel that generated it of treating California and Texas unfairly. He insisted that aides find a way to protect jobs in the electorally rich states. The job loss would be 19,372 in California and 13,381 in Texas, according to the commission. At California's McClellan Air Force Base, workers chanted ''Down With Clinton.'' His move was to come as early as yesterday.

An NAACP audit found gross misuse of its funds by some former officers. They included $32,459 in personal expenses on such items as clothing and children's toys charged by Reverend Chavis, a former executive director. The nation's oldest and largest civil-rights organization is moving to retire debt of nearly $3.8 million. (Story, Page 3.)

Unless the integrity of the UN Bosnia mission can be restored, Clinton said, ''obviously its days will be numbered.'' But the US will allow its European allies who have troops on the ground there to decide whether to pull out. A UN exit would mean sending 25,000 US troops to assist in the withdrawal of peacekeepers.

The FBI suspended a senior official involved in a 1993 standoff in Idaho that ended in the death of a white separatist. E. Michael Kahoe was put on leave during an investigation of an alleged coverup of the incident.

The tobacco industry covered up ''detailed and damning evidence'' about the addictive and carcinogenic nature of cigarettes for three decades, the American Medical Association said. The assertion is at the heart of legal challenges to the industry.

China said the US must be patient and wait for the Chinese legal system to deal with Harry Wu, a Chinese-American human rights activist arrested for espionage. Secretary of State Christopher called for Wu's prompt release.

The World

As many as 14,000 Muslims driven from the enclave of Srebrenica by Bosnian Serb troops have crossed into government-controlled territory. A UN official called the deportation by the Serbs ''a humanitarian disaster.'' The UN is scrambling to provide food and shelter at a makeshift camp in Tuzla. About 23,000 refugees remain at the Dutch peacekeeping base in Srebrenica, which the Serbs seized Tuesday. Muslim males over 16 are being held by the Serbs, although most escaped into the woods. President Clinton said yesterday the days of the UN's Bosnia mission may be numbered unless its integrity can be restored after Srebrenica's capture. (Story, Page 1.)

During a visit to Germany, China's President Zemin signed eight lucrative deals and received full military honors, despite criticism of China's human-rights record. The biggest deal: a $1 billion joint-venture contract with Mercedes-Benz to build minivans and engines in China.

Jewish rabbis enraged Israeli officials by ruling that Israeli soldiers must disobey orders to evacuate Army bases and settlements in the West Bank. Israel and the PLO are trying to meet a July 25 deadline for an accord on Palestinian rule in the West Bank. New talks began yesterday to settle remaining differences. In Jordanian elections, meanwhile, government supporters defeated Muslim fundamentalists who reject Jordan's peace treaty with Israel. Egypt charged 28 suspected Muslim extremists with murder and attempted murder for attacks in Aswan, a major tourist stop. (Story, Page 6.)

Saying that Haiti still needs help ensuring human rights, the UN General Assembly extended its monitoring mission there for another six months. The Haitian government sought the move. Early election results showed President Aristide's party on its way to a sweeping victory.

Turkish planes bombed Kurdish rebel positions in an eastern Turkish province yesterday, and officials said 33 people were killed in other clashes between troops and guerrillas. Turkish troops ended a week-long incursion against rebel bases in northern Iraq this week. More than 17,000 people have been killed in the rebels' 11-year fight for independence in southeast Turkey.

Russian President Yeltsin remained hospitalized and was in good condition, the Kremlin reported. A lack of independent reports, however, has left some Russians skeptical. Yeltsin's five-year term as president expires in June.

An upsurge in the Seoul department store's list of missing, two weeks after the building's collapse, sparked a furor in South Korea yesterday. Lawmakers and relatives demanded that those responsible be sacked. Government officials now say as many at 650 people may have been killed, double an earlier estimate. Meanwhile, veteran opposition leader Kim Dae Jung returned to politics, contradicting his earlier promise not to.

British Prime Minister Major was being urged to save the flailing peace process in Northern Ireland from renewed violence by amending a law to reintroduce 50 percent remission on prison sentences. The release of about 100 convicted guerrillas would include IRA members and rival gunmen from Protestant extremist groups. Meanwhile, police barricaded Belfast's streets Wednesday to allow 20,000 Protestants to march in a divisive annual celebration of 17th century war victories.

The World Wildlife Federation said Wednesday that West Coast salmon stocks are on the brink of being wiped out. The group called on Canadian fishermen to release their salmon catches. Its plea came one week after Canada and the US said they had failed to reach an agreement on how to divide this year's Pacific salmon catch, which in turn sparked fears that a fishing free-for-all may erupt.

Etcetera

The bald eagle, America's national symbol, has made it back from the brink of extinction and has been taken off the endangered species list, the Interior Department said. The eagle is still threatened in the lower 48 states, but its populations are healthy in Alaska.

Polish President Walesa shaved off his famous moustache while on vacation, but an aide said, ''It will be back.'' Walesa's moustache has been his trademark since he led the 1980 Gdansk shipyard strike that led to the fall of communist rule.

Australian and British scientists found what they said were the world's oldest footprints in ancient rock in west Australia. The footprints, made by three-foot-long scorpions and centipedes, were dated to at least 420 million years ago.

Georgian leader Shevardnadze has entered the electronic age with a new Internet address. A special line was installed by the US Agency for International Development. The former Soviet Union is famous for its bad phones lines, and Georgia has some of the worst.

Top 10 Television Shows, July 3-9 Rank/Show/Network/Rating

1. ''Friends,'' NBC, 15.0, 14.3 million homes

2. ''Seinfeld,'' NBC, 14.4, 13.7 million homes

3. ''Grace Under Fire,'' ABC 13.4, 12.8 million homes

4. ''Roseanne,'' ABC, 13.2, 12.6 million homes

5. ''ER,'' NBC, 12.5, 12.0 million homes

5. ''NBC Sunday Night Movie: Fried Green Tomatoes,'' NBC, 12.5, 12.0 million homes

7. ''20/20,'' ABC, 12.2, 11.6 million homes

8. ''PrimeTime Live,'' ABC, 11.8, 11.3 million homes

9. ''CBS Sunday Movie: Janek,'' CBS, 11.0, 10.5 million homes

9. ''60 Minutes,'' CBS, 11.0, 10.5 million homes

- Associated Press

'' I'd rather put my family's religious liberty in the hands of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison than in the hands of Newt Gingrich and Pat Robertson.''

- Elliot Mincberg on Clinton's attempt to preempt a GOP proposal for a constitutional amendment on school prayer

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