News In Brief

THE US

The welfare-reform debate is set to begin in the Senate. On Saturday, Senator Dole introduced a bill that would impose a five-year lifetime limit on benefits and require able-bodied adult recipients to work. It would also cut welfare spending by $70 billion over seven years and require teenage moms to live at home and go to school to get benefits.

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Customers of four "Baby Bells" don't have to worry about their phone service being interrupted. On Sunday, negotiators for communications workers in Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, and Oakland, Calif., agreed to continue talks rather than strike.

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The Senate voted Saturday to deny taxpayer-funded abortions for federal employees, except in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the mother's life. An earlier-passed House bill pays for abortion only when it would save the mother's life. The differences will be worked out in coming weeks.

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New TV's will have to have a "V-chip" that enables parents to block out violent or other programs. The requirement is part of the largest rewrite of federal telecommunications law in six decades. It passed the House Friday. A less radical version passed the Senate in June. The House bill substantially deregulates the cable, phone, and long-distance industries by allowing them all to get into each other's businesses. Supporters say the competition will create multiple new technologies. Critics warn of monopolistic control of the industries. President Clinton reiterated his veto threat.

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Charles Banks, President Bush's attorney general, had "serious reservations" about the merits of a Whitewater investigation, says a letter released Saturday. He wrote in 1992 that there was not a strong case against the Clintons. Meanwhile, the White House released papers on Friday that raise tax-return questions about the Clintons' Whitewater investment. The Clintons have long said their improper tax deductions for payments made by the Whitewater Development Co. were a mistake. But the newly released papers suggest the action was deliberate. Congressional hearings continue this week.

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NASA says that too much rubber being injected in O-ring molds caused the seals to be seared during two recent shuttle blastoffs. The extra rubber injection was part of a recent change in procedure. The space agency says it is about a week away from fixing the glitch.

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Clinton banned discrimination based on sexual orientation for granting security clearances. The move on Friday ended 40 years of government policy that assumed homosexuals to be security risks who could not be trusted with government secrets.

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Beverly Heard was expected to testify today. The teenager accused Chicago Congressman Reynolds of having sex with her when she was a minor but recanted in January. She changed her mind Friday after a week in jail and the threat of two more.

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"Made in the USA" clothes may be produced in sweatshops, often staffed by recent immigrants forced into virtual slavery. A raid last week in El Monte, Calif., found 68 Thai nationals confined to a compound day and night, even after paying off the immigration debts that forced them into 17-hour work days. The Labor Department is cracking down, but sweatshops are often one step ahead. The garment industry's trend of farming out clothes to small shops is seen as exacerbating the problem.

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President Nixon used covert funding for an unprecedented White House polling operation and hid sensitive results from top aides, an article in the summer issue of Public Opinion Quarterly reports. A $300,000 "special account" for polling was kept secret even from pollster Robert Teeter. And Nixon used internal polls to test alternate running mates for the 1972 election but didn't tell Vice President Spiro Agnew. The report's authors say that Nixon used polls aggressively to shape policy and manipulate public opinion.

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K mart was told to pay three former employees a total of $2 million in an age-discrimination suit. They charged that K mart initiated a late-1980s program to replace older managers.

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The O.J. Simpson jury may not see new DNA evidence that links Ronald Goldman's blood to Simpson's Bronco. Judge Ito says he's not sure if the jury has the "capacity" to stomach more scientific evidence.

THE WORLD

Croatian troops seized the key northern town of Petrinja yesterday, the third day of an offensive to retake the Serb Krajina region. The Croats said they also captured Obrovac and Novi Licki Osik. After capturing the Serb "capital" Knin Saturday, they joined Bosnian troops from the Bihac enclave and sliced Krajina in two. The US advised them on how to conduct the assualt, approving the operation, Croatia's foreign minister said. Bosnia's ruling party has given Prime Minister Silajdzic, who resigned Thursday without citing a reason, until Aug. 9 to withdraw his resignation and has offered six names as possible replacements.

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The leader of the Cali drug cartel, Miguel Rodriguez Orejuela, was found by Colombian police yesterday hiding in a closet in his Cali home. Rodriguez is the sixth kingpin to be arrested in the last two months. A cartel member said Rodriguez feared he would be shot dead by security forces because he provided evidence linking top government officials to traffickers.

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France may drop one of eight planned nuclear tests in the South Pacific, it said Saturday. Some 62 percent of the French public think the tests should be dropped, according to a Harris poll released Saturday. The first boats of an international peace flotilla opposed to the testing set sail for Mururoa Atoll yesterday.

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Hiroshima's mayor gave one of the strongest statements of regret ever issued by a notable Japanese politician yesterday at ceremonies for the 50th anniversary of the dropping of the first nuclear bomb. In Independence, Mo., WWII veterans marked the 50th by visiting President Truman's grave.

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Hundreds of anarchist punks in Hanover, Germany, are vowing to reduce the city to rubble. Saturday night, for the third night in a row, they set fire to cars and trash cans and threw rocks and bottles. More than 600 young people have been arrested.

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The Russian Army and Chechen separatists accused each other of stalling on a military pact. The Russian commander said he would not begin a pullout until he received a full list of Russian names for prisoner exchanges. The Chechens said they should pull out immediately.

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Israeli police shut Jerusalem's Temple Mount to all visitors yesterday to defuse tensions between Muslim and Jewish worshippers, a police spokesman said. The Mount is the third holiest site in Islam, the location of the al-Aqsa mosque, and was once the site of Jewish temples - one destroyed by the Babylonians and a second by the Romans.

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An American tourist being held in northern India has been shot and a British hostage wounded, according to a tape released Saturday by their Kashmiri rebel captors. The American said in the tape that he was wounded during an Indian attack on the rebels in the mountains.

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The US flag flew for the first time in 20 years atop a US embassy in Vietnam yesterday. Secretary of State Christopher, while opening the embassy, reiterated the US government's top priority of clarifying the fate of 2,198 war veterans still unaccounted for. Also emphasized: the need for talks on human rights, drug trafficking, economic reforms.

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A report submitted by Iraq on its biological weapons program breaks years of silence but may be incomplete, said Rolf Ekeus, head of the UN special commission disarming Iraq. More time is needed to analyze the 530-page document, he said.

ETCETERA

I'm just one person. I'm a grain of sand, if you will. But grains of sand can do interesting things, because the grain of sand can irritate the oyster and make the pearl."

- Ross Perot, on whether or not he'll run for president in 1996

Hard on the heels of the 22nd seminar on native son William Faulkner in Oxford, Miss., comes the first International Conference on Elvis Presley. It's not exactly the image some folks in this newly minted literary mecca, also home of popular author John Grisham, want to project. Leading "the sound and the fury" against the conference is Mayor John Leslie.

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Yoko Ono is letting fans, in Japan at least, hear the result of her recent reconciliation with Paul McCartney after a rift of 25 years. "Hiroshima Sky Is Always Blue," written and recorded in January with backup by McCartney and family, was set to air yesterday on Japanese public television.

Best-Selling Albums, August 6-12

1. "E. 1999 Eternal," Bone Thugs N Harmony (Ruthless)

2. "Cracked Rear View," Hootie & the Blowfish (Atlantic)

3. "Dreaming of You," Selena (EMI Latin)

4. "Crazysexycool," TLC (LaFace)

5. "The Show, The After Party, The Hotel," Jodeci (Uptown)

6. "'Pocahantas' Soundtrack," (Disney)

7. "Jagged Little Pill," Alanis Morissette (Maverick-Reprise)

8. "The Woman in Me," Shania Twain (Mercury)

9. "Games Rednecks Play," Jeff Foxworthy (Warner Bros.)

10. "'Batman Forever' Soundtrack," (Atlantic)

- Associated Press

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