News In Brief

THE US

Senator Gramm tied presidential frontrunner Senator Dole in the Iowa GOP straw poll Saturday. Each man got 24 percent of the votes. The poll plays no official role in the party's selection process, but it was seen as a boost for Gramm, showcasing his organizational strength. Gramm and others came under criticism for trying to stack the vote in their favor by paying the $25 entry fee for their supporters. Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan came in third, with 18 percent of the vote. Those with 10 percent and under included: Former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander, radio host Alan Keyes, Senator Lugar, California Governor Wilson, Representative Dornan, and Senator Specter.

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Because the federal government joined Shannon Faulkner as a plaintiff in her gender-discrimination suit against the Citadel in 1993, the case will continue despite Faulkner's decision Friday to drop out of the state-sponsored military school. A separate trial is set for November on whether the Citadel's proposed $10 million women's leadership program at a separate college is comparable to the men's program at the Citadel. On Saturday, Faulkner said she had no regrets.

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Hurricane Felix, now a weak storm, with winds at about 75 m.p.h., continued to dally about 250 miles from Bermuda yesterday. Forecasters expected it to move further out over the ocean.

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President Clinton interrupted frequent trips to the golf course in Jackson Hole, Wyo., to celebrate the "three strikes and your out" law that was passed as part of the Democrats' get-tough crime bill one year ago. In his weekly radio address, Clinton said the law that requires life imprisonment for offenders convicted three times of violent crimes is working. Also, in a planned trip to one of the two nearby national parks, Clinton is expected to blast the GOP's environmental policies.

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Some would-be Beijing women's conference attendees don't have their visas yet for the meeting that begins Aug. 30. The women are suspicious that China may be stalling on their requests because they plan to criticize Beijing's treatment of dissidents.

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How's your siding holding up? Wood siding made by Louisiana-Pacific Corp. is doomed to failure in wet weather, the Oregonian reported Sunday in Portland, Ore. The wood-products firm, one of the largest in the US, defended its Inner Seal siding and said that 99 percent of the houses with it do not have any problems.

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US Capitol Police are protecting Speaker Gingrich as he tours the US promoting his book, "To Renew America." And he is being criticized for using taxpayer-funded police. The book could earn him an estimated $2.3 million. A private firm hired by his publisher is handling other security duties on the 25-city tour.

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For Microsoft Corp., "Start Me Up" is not just a song, it's a sales pitch. The Rolling Stones' hit will highlight a $200 million advertising campaign to promote Windows 95, the first major replacement software that runs most personal computers in nearly five years. Windows 95 goes on sale Thursday.

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Jeffrey Nichols, the most notorious deadbeat dad in the US, has been sent back to a New York City jail. Nichols, who owes his ex-wife $580,000 in support, failed to persuade a judge to free him so he can earn money to pay off his debts.

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Federal officials seized a record 12 tons of cocaine hidden in the fuel tanks of a fishing boat that was intercepted in South American waters last month and towed to San Diego. The seizure - worth more than $143 million - is the largest ever by the US on the high seas, US Attorney Alan Bersin said Friday.

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Eastern European soldiers battled mock snipers and a faked truck bomb, along with real heat in the "D-Day" of NATO-sponsored peacekeeping exercises on Friday. The maneuvers, which are being held in western Louisiana, are the first of their kind held on US soil and include troops from 26 nations.

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The controversial "gangsta rap" label Death Row records said in a suit filed Friday that Time Warner executives threatened and tried to bribe Death Row executives into softening the lyrics of their records.

THE WORLD

Three US diplomats and a French peacekeeper headed for Sarajevo for peace talks were killed in an accident Saturday. Robert Frasure, one of the men killed, was a deputy assistant secretary of state and key negotiator. He has spent more than a year trying to get talks going to end the wars in former Yugoslavia. President Clinton said peace efforts would continue, but the accident stripped US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke of his most important aides. Meanwhile, a British helicopter went down in the Adriatic Sea while on a training mission Sunday, leaving four crew members missing.

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Iraq accused defector Lt. Gen. Hussein Kamel Hassan yesterday of fleeing Baghdad with $35 million and said he should not be allowed to use Jordan as a base for political activity. Also, Iraq denied troop movement toward Jordan and Kuwait, but said it was ready to fight if attacked by US forces assembling in the Gulf region. And the British newspaper Observer said yesterday Iraqi President Hussein was only three months from testing an atomic bomb when the 1991 Gulf war broke out.

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Middle East peace talks were expected to resume yesterday with an new negotiating party: US envoy Dennis Ross, who hopes to help resolve stagnating issued. Israel and Palestine were expected to work on turning a partial accord reached earlier into a full-fledged agreement. Washington is prepared to host a signing ceremony Sept. 6. Also, thousands of Palestinian laborers returned to their jobs in Israel yesterday after Israel lifted a 10-day travel ban and reopened its borders with the Gaza Strip. And 10 right-wing Jews were arrested yesterday after shoving past police in an attempt to pray at the Temple Mount. Jewish groups are barred from praying at the temple for fear that they will provoke riots.

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A man Colombian authorities once called a Cali cartel kingpin was sentenced to less than five years in prison. Authorities were unable to win a drug conviction against Jorge Rodriguez Orejuela because of lack of evidence. He'll serve time for an illegal weapons conviction, said a Colombian TV news report. Meanwhile, an earthquake with a 6.5 magnitude hit Colombia Saturday.

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More than 20,000 people marched in 3 Taiwanese cities Sunday to denounce China's missile tests and to support the opposition campaign for independence from the mainland.

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A little-known Algerian group has claimed responsibility for two bombings in Paris. The most recent, an attack Aug. 17, shredded a trash can near the Arc de Triomphe and sprayed passersby with nails and hex nuts. Seventeen people, most foreign visitors, were wounded.

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A Kashmiri militant group opposed to the kidnapping of five Western tourists by Al-Faran guerrillas said Sunday it has sent men to search for the hostages.

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Zaire expelled more than 200 Rwandan refugees living in camps near Goma, and 40 from a camp in Bukavu, UN Refugee officials said yesterday. The expulsion followed a UN decision to lift the arms embargo against Rwanda, which Zaire opposed. Elsewhere, Liberian warlords signed a peace plan calling for a cease-fire next Saturday and elections within a year.

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South Africa said yesterday it will not bow to US pressure to forgo a new oil-marketing venture with Iran. The US, opposed to Iran's alleged nuclear ambitions, denounced the deal. Meanwhile, Russia said yesterday it plans to go ahead with building a nuclear complex in Iran within three months, despite US pressure to cancel the project.

ETCETERA

It was a tragedy caused by the circumstances of war,

a tragedy on what is clearly the most dangerous road in Europe."

- Gen. Wesley Clark, on the three US diplomats killed en route to Sarajevo

Fred Flintstone is no longer from Bedrock. He and a host of cartoon characters are actually from Manila. American and other cartoon producers are setting up shop in the Philippines because of lower production costs and the country's reputation for having talented artists who understand American culture.

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"Float-in movies" are growing popular in Tempe, Ariz., where up to 600 people at a time have been beating the heat by paying $3 to climb aboard rafts and watch films while bobbing in a huge indoor wave pool at the Kiwanis Park Recreation Center.

The 300 Best & Worst Places to Live In the US

1. Gainsville, Fla.

2. Rochester, Minn.

3. Jacksonville, Fla.

4. Seattle

5. Ocala, Fla.

6. Fort Lauderdale

7. Salem, N.H./Haverhill, Mass.

8. Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, N.C.

9. Las Vegas

10. Naples, Fla.

24. San Francisco

40. Waco, Texas

75. Boston

94. Los Angeles/Long Beach

183. Chicago

296. Glens Falls, N.Y.

297. Peoria, Ill.

298. Birmingham, Ala.

299. Modesto, Calif.

300. Yuba City, Calif.

- Money Magazine

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