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News In Brief

By CompiledCynthia HansonAbraham McLaughlin, and Peter Nordahl / August 2, 1995

The US

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The blame for Waco ''points directly at David Koresh,'' Attorney General Reno said yesterday in the final session of congressional hearings on Waco. Republicans have criticized Reno, saying she should have waited longer before authorizing the 1993 raid in which 81 Davidians were killed. She says Koresh wouldn't have surrendered. Republicans also charge that President Clinton pressured Reno to act. She says she made the decision, then informed Clinton. (Story, Page 3.)

CBS was reportedly considering a $5-billion buyout offer from Westinghouse Electric Corp. The purchase of the third-place network would follow Disney's $19-billion ABC buyout on Monday. Neither CBS nor Westinghouse confirmed that talks were taking place. (Story, Page 13; Top 10 Mergers, this page.)

The House was to vote on dropping the arms embargo on Bosnia as early as yesterday. The measure appears to have strong support. Clinton made a last-ditch pitch to House leaders against the bill. It passed the Senate July 26.

Senator Boxer said she would move as early as Tuesday to force a Senate vote on public hearings for Senator Packwood. On Monday, the Ethics Committee voted to block public hearings on sexual misconduct charges against Packwood.

Lane Kirkland left the AFL-CIO yesterday after a 16-year tenure. Critics charge he was a weak spokesman. Thomas Donahue, Kirkland's longtime aide will succeed him until a hotly contested October election. John Sweeney, who heads the opposition to current labor leadership, is campaigning on promises to reenergize the flagging union.

Bernard Nussbaum was expected to defend yesterday his role in the White House's response to Vincent Foster's suicide. The former White House counsel denies Republican accusations that he blocked access to Foster's office on Hillary Rodham Clinton's orders. Foster was working on Whitewater at the time of his death. A separate investigation found that then-Governor Bill Clinton may have awarded state contracts to his Whitewater business partner in exchange for campaign contributions. Also, the FDIC said yesterday that Mrs. Clinton's Little Rock, Ark., Rose law firm failed to disclose conflicts of interest while doing government-paid work on savings and loans.

Philip Morris deliberately increased nicotine levels in some cigarette brands, Congressman Waxman said Monday on the House floor. The company denies the claim. Waxman is urging the government to regulate cigarettes as drug-delivery vehicles. Clinton is weighing a deal to require cigarette companies to spend $100 million combating teenage smoking in exchange for avoiding FDA regulation.

76 percent of Americans still support the 1945 atomic bombings of Japan, a CBS /New York Times poll found. (Story, Page 10; Editorial, Page 20.)

The House voted to block EPA enforcement of anti-pollution laws Monday. The 210-to-210 tie reversed an earlier vote that would have funded the EPA regulation. The measure was part of a $79.4-billion environmental, housing, space, and veterans' bill passed by the House Monday.

The Senate voted to block $10 million for the UN until diplomats in New York pay $9 million in parking tickets, restaurant bills, and other fines.

A bill requiring that residents be notified when a sex offender moves into the community will be introduced by Congressman Zimmer. Last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court upheld a similar so-called ''Megan's Law.''

As hurricane Erin headed toward south Florida with 80-m.p.h. winds, emergency officials urged citizens evacuate their homes. Erin was to reach the coast late last night.

The World

Croats halted their advance against rebel Serbs yesterday, and the two sides agreed to meet in Geneva tomorrow for talks aimed at preventing a renewal of Croatia's 1991 civil war. The announcement followed the Croatian Army's capture of hundreds of square miles of Serb-held land in Bosnia. Meanwhile, Croatian and Bosnian Croat forces shelled the outskirts of the self-declared Serb capital Knin. Also, NATO ambassadors met yesterday in Brussels to discuss protecting Bihac with airstrikes. (Story, Page 6.)

Russia will begin withdrawing its troops from Chechnya within 10 days, a top Russian military commander said yesterday. The killing of at least nine Russian soldiers since the July 30 peace agreement will not deter the pullout, Russian officials said. Meanwhile, the ITAR-Tass news agency said that President Yeltsin will continue recuperation at a sanatarium until the week's end.