News In Brief

The US

Nineteen soldier statues, 7-feet tall. A 100-ton polished granite wall. Two presidents. Thousands of veterans. All were part of the official dedication of the Korean War Veterans Memorial yesterday. After giving thanks to the US for defending his country in a speech to Congress Wednesday, South Korean President Kim Young Sam joined President Clinton for the ceremony. Clinton, meanwhile, rejected a North Korean proposal that the US and North Korea renegotiate the 42-year-old armistice.

The bill to lift the arms embargo on the Bosnian government moves to the House. It passed the Senate Wednesday with a veto-proof vote of 69 to 29. The measure says the embargo is to be lifted after the UN peacekeepers are withdrawn or 12 weeks after the Bosnian government asks the UN to leave. Senators said the embargo left Bosnian Muslims unable to defend themselves. Clinton, who plans to veto the measure, argued that lifting the embargo will allow Serbs to overrun the Muslims. Clinton has pledged that US troops will aid in the UN withdrawal. (Editorial, Page 20.)

Federal agents were told that tear gas wouldn't hurt Branch Davidian compound residents, former deputy FBI director Larry Potts said yesterday in congressional hearings. Potts directed the 1993 siege at Waco, in which 81 Davidians were killed, possibly from a fire set by the tear gas. The panel heard conflicting testimony Wednesday on the effects of the gas. A federal agent said tearfully that the Davidians shot first when officers tried to serve warrants at the compound. Separately, Attorney General Reno defended her approval of the tear-gas use yesterday.

Senators at the Whitewater hearings were unable to reconcile two accounts of a search of Vincent Foster's office the night of his death. Hillary Clinton's top aide, Margaret Williams, said Wednesday she did not take papers from the office. But a Secret Service officer said he saw her carrying away folders 3 to 5 inches thick. (Story, Page 1.)

New jobless claims fell by 42,000 last week, the government reported. Still, analysts say the claims are high, reflecting economic weakness. Durable goods orders slipped 0.1 percent. The change was also taken as a sign of a slow economy.

Three unions agreed to merge yesterday, forming the nation's largest labor group. Steelworkers, machinists, and auto workers will combine into a 2 million-member union by 2000. Separately, on Wednesday the National Labor Relations Board ordered pro basketball players to vote on whether their union should continue to represent them. A vote against representation in the September poll may derail the 1995-96 NBA season.

A White House panel exonerated the CIA of involvement in the deaths of an American hotel owner and a Guatemalan rebel commander. But its report, issued Wednesday, did not discredit assertions implicating a paid CIA informant in the rebel's torture. The panel criticized the intelligence agency for failing to inform Congress of its activities. (Story, Page 3.)

NASA's flight managers were expected to meet today to decide on grounding the shuttle fleet. O-ring seals on the recent Atlantis and Discovery flights were singed during blastoff. A broken O-ring was blamed in the 1986 Challenger explosion. Endeavor is scheduled for launch Aug. 5. Separately, the Galileo probe set its final course for Jupiter yesterday. It is expected to reach the giant red planet by December.

A year after accusing Congressman Reynolds of luring her into a sexual affair when she was a minor, Beverly Heard sat in a Chicago jail. She refused on Wednesday to testify at his trial and was held in contempt of court. The former campaign worker has tried to avoid a courtroom confrontation since she publicly recanted her story.

Chicago braced for more heat. 100-degree temperatures are expected over the weekend.

The World

The Bosnian government lauded the US Senate vote to lift the arms embargo. But England, France, and Russia all harshly criticized the vote, and France said it will prompt the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers. Meanwhile, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, the UN's chief investigator for the former Yugoslavia, resigned yesterday to protest international failure to halt atrocities in Bosnia. Bosnian Serb military commander Mladic said Wednesday he has no immediate plans to attack the ''safe area'' Gorazde. And UN Secretary General Boutros-Ghali gave UN military commanders authority to call in NATO airstrikes without first clearing them with him. (Editorial, Page 20.)

China's Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday that Harry Wu, a US human rights activist being held in a Chinese prison allegedly for spying, falsified information in two exposes of China's prison system. Xinhua said Wu told police he intentionally made errors editing two BBC documentaries. The US has repeatedly called for Wu's release. And some of the 35,000 participants planning to attend a women's forum in Huairou, China next month won't be able to go to meetings: The rooms can accommodate only 10,000 people.

Former WWII prisoners of war in Japanese camps marched into court yesterday to demand repatriation of $22,000 each from the Japanese government. The suit representing soldiers from the US, Britain, New Zealand, and Australia was filed earlier this year on behalf of 73,000 members of veteran's organizations. The allied POW's death rate in Japanese camps was 27 percent, compared with 4 percent at allied camps.

People are hopping on flights out of sunny Montserrat. The trouble began July 19, when ash and steam began spewing out of 3,000-foot Chances Peak, the tallest mountain on this 7-by-11-mile Caribbean island. Because of the exodus, banks ran out of US dollars Wednesday and the passport office was out of passports. Officials have asked help from France, and the US is sending a team of five geologists.

Vietnam is set to become the seventh member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations today, overcoming a last-minute dispute over free trade.

Talks between Indian guerrillas and Mexico's government in the southern state of Chiapas ended amid a storm of insults. They plan to meet again Sept. 5, but the peace process appears deadlocked.

Sri Lankan legislators from both major ethnic groups yesterday praised a peace plan that would give strong local government to all regions, including the one where Tamil rebels have been fighting for autonomy for 12 years. The plan, drawn up by President Kumaratunga's Cabinet, is in the form of a constitutional amendment that requires a two-thirds vote in Parliament and a national referendum.

Quebec Premier Jacques Parizeau accused the Canadian government of conspiring with the nine other provincial premiers to isolate Quebec. A confidential government document he obtained shows the anti-Quebec stance, he said Tuesday.

Violence erupted in Frankfurt, Germany when police tried to break up a Kurdish sit-in held to support hunger strikers imprisoned in Turkey. Suspected Kurdish militants firebombed at least eight more Turkish businesses in Germany.

Police in Colombia arrested the treasurer of Colombian President Ernesto Samper's election campaign Wednesday for allegedly receiving money from the Cali drug cartel. Santiago Medina's arrest is the latest blow to Samper's administration, which has been accused of accepting drug money to win the June 1994 elections.

Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui said Thursday that Taiwan must modernize its military to deter possible Chinese attacks. The comment followed the launch of six test-missiles by China, which ended Wednesday.

Etcetera

A quarter century after he brought his wounded spacecraft back to earth, Apollo 13 commander Jim Lovell received a medal Wednesday at the White House. With his movie stand-in Tom Hanks looking on, Lovell was honored by President Clinton, who draped the Congressional Space Medal of Honor around his neck. The president said the ''Apollo 13'' movie brought the event into vivid focus.

The post office in Buffalo, N.Y., is the only one in the US to receive scores of 90 percent or higher in customer satisfaction and on-time delivery for the past five survey periods, the US Postal Service says. Surveys are conducted every three months.

In its first major exhibition in seven years, the Kremlin displayed 370 art treasures in Moscow Wednesday, including a rare Faberge dandelion and 400-year-old coins from beneath its own foundation. The silver and gold dandelion, standing in a crystal vase, was made during the final years of Faberge, the St. Petersburg jewelry house famed for its ''eggs.''

Top 10 Video Rentals

1. ''Disclosure,'' (Warner)

2. ''Dumb and Dumber,'' (New Line)

3. ''Interview With theVampire,'' (Warner)

4. ''Legends of the Fall,'' (Columbia TriStar)

5. ''Murder in the First,'' (Warner)

6. ''Junior,'' (MCA-Universal)

7. ''Little Women,'' (Columbia)

8. ''The Shawshank Redemption,'' (Columbia TriStar)

9. ''Drop Zone,'' (Paramount)

10. ''The Professional,'' (Columbia TriStar)

- Billboard Publications Inc.

'' The lifting of the arms embargo would suit me because all the supply routes could easily come under my control. That would be a chance for me to get some high-tech weapons.''

- Bosnian Serb Gen. Ratko Mladic

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