News In Brief

The US

The FBI may have the Unabomber's fingerprints, Newsweek magazine reports. New forensic technology revealed a partial set of prints on an explosive device mailed by the elusive terrorist several years ago. But authorities are unsure whether they belong to the man responsible for a 17-year bombing campaign. The FBI is also tracking him by trying to match the manual typewriter he used to type a 35,000-word manifesto.

Michael Fortier, an Army friend of Oklahoma City bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh, will likely be indicted on lesser charges in exchange for testifying against McVeigh. Fortier has admitted to casing the federal building with McVeigh before the April bombing. Indictments against McVeigh, Fortier, and the other suspect, Terry Nichols, are expected this week.

A Philadelphia judge stayed the execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal yesterday. The condemned journalist had been scheduled to die Aug. 17 for killing a police officer in 1981.

Contract talks continued between communications workers and five ''Baby Bells'' yesterday. There was no immediate threat of a strike, but many of the phone companies' employees are working without contracts and extending their strike deadline day by day. At issue in the talks: access by union members to new jobs in the companies, wages, and shifting health-care costs.

The Senate welfare debate began in earnest yesterday. Conservatives say the bill introduced Saturday by Senator Dole isn't tough enough. They want assurances that welfare recipients would be required to work. The GOP plans to air radio ads in five states to influence key Democratic senators now opposed to Dole's workfare provision. The more liberal critics say workfare would force people to leave their children at home while at work.

Speaker Gingrich launched a Medicare crusade in Atlanta yesterday. In dozens of planned town meetings around the country over the next month, Gingrich and other Republicans will try to convince Americans that the GOP can fix the health-care system for the elderly without the harsh cutbacks that Democrats claim are inevitable. The GOP would cut $270 billion in Medicare funds over seven years.

GOP Congressman Leach charged yesterday that the Clintons put none of their own money into the Whitewater land deal but reported tax losses from the deal. He chairs the new House Banking Committee hearings on the Clintons' failed investment. Democrats say nothing new will surface and that the Clintons did not know of the tax write offs. Senate hearings continue to focus on the White House response to Vincent Foster's death.

President Clinton could announce a decision on cigarette regulations this week. He heads to tobacco country - Charlotte, N.C., - tomorrow and may comment on the topic. (Story, Page 3; Editorial, Page 20.)

Firefighters in southern California said they would probably have a wildfire contained by last night, although residents were still on evacuation alert The blaze has blackened some 17,000 acres of desert wilderness 20 miles northwest of Palm Springs.

Democrat Congressman Tauzin will become a Republican, he announced in Washington yesterday. The Louisiana congressman is the fourth Democratic congressman to move to the GOP since last fall's election.

Hungarian, Lithuanian, and Slovakian soldiers arrived at Fort Polk in western Louisiana Sunday for three weeks of NATO exercises. The joint training will include troops from 14 Central and Eastern European nations. The exercise is the first on US soil involving the Partnership for Peace, a post-cold war NATO effort to foster cooperation among former rivals and develop joint peacekeeping efforts.

A small Swiss company has modified the software that runs Apple's Macintosh so it can be used on an IBM personal computer, according to the trade magazine MacWorld. Apple and IBM don't plan to have the Macintosh software available for the IBM PC until late next year.

The World

Bosnian Serbs retaliated against the Croatian Army's retaking of the Krajina region yesterday with air raids on five central Croatian towns, and Yugoslav Army tanks rumbled toward Croatia. UN officials say at least a 1,500-man Croatian Army brigade is moving toward the disputed eastern Slavonia region. The fall of Krajina spurred an exodus of about 200,000 Serb refugees. A rift between Serb leader Karadzic and General Mladic widened: The Bosnian Serb assembly supported Karadzic Sunday for his ouster of Mladic, but senior generals say they will take orders only from Mladic. (Story, Page 6.)

Mexico's conservative PAN celebrated a key victory in Baja California elections yesterday - winning the governorship of President Zedillo's home state for the second time in six years. The victory follows a series of setbacks for the ruling PRI, which has ceded four of Mexico's 31 state governorships to the PAN in recent elections.

A Cali cartel drug kingpin arrested in Colombia Sunday called President Samper ''An honest man,'' and denied accusations by the president's former campaign treasurer that Samper approved of the cartel's $4.9 million donation to his 1994 election bid. (Story, Page 7.)

An apparent suicide bombing has killed at least 21 people and injured more than 50 in a government building in Sri Lanka's capital. No one claimed responsibility, but authorities believe the bombing is linked to the fight for Tamil independence. It was the worst terrorist incident in Colombo since October.

Leaders of three parties in Japan's ruling coalition agreed yesterday on a Cabinet reshuffle following their dismal showing in elections. Little change is likely among top positions in the new Cabinet. Also, police linked the Aum Shinri Kyo sect with a series of mystery attacks in May and July involving cyanide gas. And sect leader Shoko Asahara was indicted on a charge involving nerve gas mass-murder at a mountain resort last year.

Police in Beijing broke up a foreign press conference yesterday where a Chinese woman described her ordeal as a forced sex slave of the Japanese military during WWII. Police took the names of reporters, confiscated film, prohibited photos, and told journalists not to report the incident. Li Dingguo, a campaign activist and conference spokesman, was arrested. The conference was called by a group that filed the first lawsuit by Chinese in a Tokyo court demanding $220,000 each in compensation for injuries suffered from Japanese soldiers. The raid underscores China's unwillingness to shake relations with its largest trading partner and creditor.

Russian President Yeltsin returned to the Kremlin yesterday after a nearly month-long recovery from medical problems. He immediately launched back into the political scene. Alarmed at Croatian advances against Russia's traditional Serb allies, Yeltsin yesterday invited Serbian and Croatian leaders to Moscow for peace talks. (Story, Page 6.)

Hindu nationalists, spurred by the cancellation of a big US-built power plant, plan to launch a nationwide campaign this week to drive multinationals selling foreign consumer goods out of India. The group which has ties to the Bharatiya Janata Party, India's main opposition party, said yesterday that Indian consumers and businesses do not need products such as Coca-Cola or Pepsi.

As many as 500,000 Cubans marched through Havana Sunday in support of Fidel Castro and to protest the US trade embargo.

An oil-storage agreement between Iran and South Africa has raised the ire of the US. The deal allows Iran to re-export oil and sidestep a US trade embargo.

The influential French daily Le Monde urged President Chirac to scrap planned nuclear tests in the South Pacific yesterday, saying it was better to back down in the face of a global outcry than stubbornly choose isolation. New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, said yesterday it was prepared to start ''economic warfare'' with France over the testing.

Etcetera

Mori Building Company of Japan announced yesterday that it plans to build the world's tallest building in Shanghai. The skyscraper will be 1,510 feet tall. The Sears Tower in Chicago at 1,454 feet is now the tallest building, according to the Guinness Book of Records.

Buenos Aires will host the first World Congress of Housewives Oct. 26-29 with the aim of housewives joining forces to fight for quality, fair prices, and advertising that does not exploit women, according to its organizers.

Some 11 million informers were spying on fellow Soviet citizens at the time of Stalin's passing in 1953, a prominent Russian said yesterday. That's one informer for every 18 Russians.

Japanese adventurer Kenichi Horie plans his next Pacific crossing in a solar battery-powered boat made from recycled aluminum cans. The boat was placed in Tokyo's harbor yesterday.

Nine out of 10 Swedish pilots traveling across continents face such strong jet-lag problems that they have trouble staying awake during flights. Researchers at Stockholm's Karolinska Institute studied Scandinavian Airlines System pilots from 1992-94.

Top-Selling Jazz Albums Aug. 3

1. ''The Bridges of Madison County,'' various artists (Malpaso)

2. ''Pearls,'' David Sanborn (Electra)

3. ''First Instrument,'' Rachelle Ferrell (Blue Note)

4. ''MTV Unplugged,'' Tony Bennett (Columbia)

5. ''Joe's Cool Blues,'' Wynton and Ellis Marsalis (Columbia)

6. ''Time After Time,'' Etta James (Private)

7. ''Afterglow,'' Dr. John (Blue Thumb)

8. ''Steal Away,'' Charlie Haden, Hank Jones (Verve)

9. ''Quiet After the Storm,'' Dianne Reeves (Blue Note)

10. ''Family,'' Roy Hargrove (Verve)

- Billboard/Associated Press

'' He has an outstanding arrest warrant for weapons charges,

which down here is like ... spitting on the sidewalk.''

- A Mexican source on Mexican drug-trafficker Amado Carrillo Fuentes, likely heir to the Cali drug cartel

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