News In Brief

THE US

The Clinton administration has accused Bosnia's Serbs of "egregious" human rights violations after the fall of the Muslim enclaves of Srebrenica and Zepa, including possible slaughter of 1,000 Muslim men and boys. UN Ambassador Albright took a package of evidence to the UN Security Council to back US claims. The evidence includes CIA spy photos taken from American U-2 spy planes over Bosnia, US sources said. The Red Cross said at least 6,000 people are still missing after the fall of Srebrenica. The UN is pushing to obtain full access to Bosnia for war-crimes investigators.

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With Whitewater hearings winding down, House Republicans zeroed in on the conduct of the Arkansas law firm where Hillary Clinton and former Associate Attorney General Webster Hubbell worked. Government investigators have concluded that the firm had conflicts of interest in cleanup work for the government on a failed Arkansas savings and loan owned by business partners of Bill and Hillary Clinton because it had done work for the S&L earlier. An inspector testified that neither Hubbell or the firm disclosed the conflict before it was awarded the cleanup work. Former White House counsel Bernard Nussbaum again defended keeping police away from Vincent Foster's office after his suicide.

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Accepting research showing nicotine to be addictive, President Clinton ordered the Food and Drug Administration to crack down on teen smoking with unprecedented restrictions on tobacco advertising and sales.

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Pilots flew by sight as air traffic controllers were rendered useless by a power outage that knocked out radar coverage of northern California, western Nevada, and a huge swath of the Pacific Ocean. The outage lasted from 7:13 a.m. to 8:18 a.m. Wednesday.

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The O.J. Simpson defense was dealt a heavy blow when Judge Lance Ito ruled against identifying the source of a news report that tests on blood on a sock found in Simpson's bedroom showed DNA from Nicole Simpson. The defense saw the news leak as a cornerstone of its theory the police conspired to frame Simpson.

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Thousands of telegrams have flooded Congress over the past week with names of citizens who didn't know their names were being used in a massive lobbying campaign on the telecommunications bill. The long-distance telephone coalition mounting the campaign suggested that its efforts were being sabotaged. Capitol Police are investigating.

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The Senate voted Wednesday to cut Interior Department funding. Affected are programs for land management, tribal governments, energy conservation, and research on natural resources.

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Amid partisan mudslinging, Senator Dole put welfare reform on hold until Congress returns from its summer recess.

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President Clinton is unlikely now to propose tax reforms and counter GOP calls for a complete overhaul of the tax code, Treasury Secretary Rubin told the Washington Post. Rubin said the president was studying tax proposals by both parties.

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State and federal prisons squeezed in 83,000 more inmates last year for the second-biggest increase ever. US prisons hold a record population of more than 1 million, up 8.6 percent overall from last year.

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Gay rights activists asked the US Supreme Court to outlaw a charter amendment in Cincinnati that bars the city from enacting or enforcing laws based on sexual orientation. The plaintiffs say the amendment would not protect homosexuals' rights.

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House Speaker Gingrich had nothing to say about a woman's claim, in Vanity Fair magazine, that they had an affair 20 years ago during his first marriage.

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Inflation at the wholesale level was in absent in July, the Labor Department said. The steepest decline in gasoline costs in over four years more than offset rising food costs.

THE WORLD

Russian President Yeltsin met Serbian President Miliosevic at the Kremlin yesterday. Afterward, Yeltsin agreed to invite Bosnian President Izetbegovic to future talks. Today's talks were blunted by Croatian President Tudjman's absence. Tudjman refused to attend without Izetbegovic. Yeltsin also called for lifting economic sanctions on Bosnia and warned that Russia may do so unilaterally. Krajina Serb refugees, meanwhile, began arriving yesterday in Serbia.

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France says it will never again test nuclear weapons after eight planned blasts next month in the South Pacific. At an international disarmament conference in Geneva today, France was expected to formally commit to the test-ban pledge made by a senior foreign ministry official Wednesday. President Chirac says France needs to develop computer simulations from the real tests, making further testing unnecessary. Then, the foreign ministry official suggested, the test-site could be turned into a Club Med resort.

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China executed 10 people "to ensure social order" in Beijing at the UN women's conference next month, the official People's Daily reported yesterday. Authorities have begun sweeping up prostitutes, vagrants, and others they doesn't want an estimated 40,000 foreign visitors to see. Meanwhile, Aung San Suu Kyi, the recently freed Burmese dissident, has agreed to give a video-taped speech to the women's conference. She has not accepted any invitations to travel abroad.

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Mideast negotiators hoped to initial a plan for extending Palestinian self-rule today. Still at issue in the fourth day of talks between PLO leader Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Peres: water rights and who will control policing of the West Bank. Palestinian authorities, meanwhile, arrested 11 suspected Muslim militants yesterday to try to prevent attacks on Israel.

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French Channel tunnel engineers launched a four-day strike yesterday, disrupting "Chunnel" service during one of the summer's biggest travel weekends.

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70,000 Hindus trekked through India on an annual pilgrimage to a sacred cave. Two were killed yesterday by Kashmiri separatists' bombs.

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The Nigerian military government muzzled dissent over its secret trial of 40 suspected coup plotters. At least 14 received death sentences. Some mid-level officials had urged clemency. Now the only public comment on the case will come from the office of the army chief of the general staff, a spokesman said.

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Japan's prime minister rebuked a Cabinet minister yesterday for suggesting that Japan need not apologize further for World War II. "Is war not the mutual use of aggression?" the minister was quoted as saying. The incident illustrates the nation's sensitivity over its wartime accountability. Although some prime ministers have made personal apologies, the legislature has issued only vaguely worded statements on the issue.

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Ethnic Hutus in Rwanda and Zairian refugee camps are amassing weapons again, the Rwandan UN ambassador said Wednesday. He urged the UN to drop its arms embargo so the Tutsi-led Rwandan government can collect weapons to fend off Hutu troops and avoid a repeat of last year's massacres

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Hoping to draw North Korea back into talks in Beijing, South Korea sent a delegation to the Chinese capital. The North cut off talks over the South's offer of rice aid when it charged a South Korean sailor with spying.

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The Cambodian prime minister ruled out a Western-style democracy yesterday, warning that the Khmer Rouge could manipulate such a system into a return to the bloody "Killing Fields" of the 1970s. Last week US Secretary of State Christopher urged the nation toward democracy.

ETCETERA

[Assistant Secretary of State Shattuck] heard eyewitness accounts of mass executions, beatings, ... and other violations of ... international humanitarian laws."

- White House press secretary Mike McCurry, on evidence of Serb atrocities in Bosnia

Jerry Garcia, who died at a drug rehabilitation center near San Francisco Wednesday, was a master guitarist whose band, the Grateful Dead, symbolizes the 1960s counterculture. He and his band were still a top concert draw after three decades.

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The jury is still out on William Kunstler the stand-up comic. The lawyer with the bushy eyebrows and the unpopular clients took the stage this week at Caroline's Comedy Club in New York City, where he reminisced about the Chicago Seven trial and told O.J. Simpson jokes.

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Time Warner is trying to sell its 50 percent stake in a controversial gansta rap label back to Interscope, the New York Times said yesterday. A deal was nearly reached last week. Interscope Records carries such rappers as Snoop Doggy Dog and Tupac Shakur - as well as other performers like singer Tom Jones.

Top 10 Video Rentals, Aug. 5, 1995

1. Dumb and Dumber," (New Line)

2. "Disclosure," (Warner)

3. "Interview With the Vampire," Warner)

4. "Nell," (Fox)

5. "Star Trek Generations," (Paramount)

6. "Murder in the First," (Warner)

7. "I.Q.," (Paramount)

8. "Legends of the Fall," (Columbia TriStar)

9. "Ready to Wear," (Miramax)

10. "Junior," (MCA-Universal)

- Billboard Publications Inc.

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