News In Brief

By , Abraham McLaughlin, and Peter Nordahl

The US President Clinton and Chinese President Jiang are expected to meet in October to try to improve Sino-US relations, Undersecretary of State Peter Tarnoff said Sunday. Taiwan will be a top issue at the summit. China regards Taiwan as a renegade province and wants assurances that Washington will not recognize it as a country. US-Chinese relations improved, meanwhile, after China released Harry Wu, the Chinese-American rights activist on Thursday. The move prompted Hillary Clinton to announce that she will attend the UN women's conference in Beijing next month. Mrs. Clinton said her China trip will be ''about giving a voice to women.'' (Story, Page 1.) The first family planned to camp under the stars last night in the foothills of the Teton mountains. Mr. Clinton said Saturday that a week of hiking, rafting, and camping has convinced him to increase efforts to protect the environment. Citing pollution concerns, he blocked a proposed gold mine that would be three miles from Yellowstone's border. The shuttle's O-ring problems are fixed, NASA said Friday. Shuttle Endeavour's postponed launch is now set for Thursday. Senator Packwood and his accusers now agree on the need for public hearings. In a surprise reversal Friday, the Oregon Republican said the only way for him to receive a fair hearing is to make it public. He has been accused of making unwanted sexual advances against 19 women over the past three decades. Senator Dole is returning $1,000 from a gay Republicans group, saying his presidential campaign won't accept donations from groups whose views he opposes. It is the first contribution the campaign has returned for ideological reasons. Dole's support, meanwhile, has slipped among Republican voters, from 42 percent last month to 35 percent, according to a Time/CNN poll released Friday. California's Governor Wilson formally kicks off his campaign for the White House this week. A seven-state tour begins in New York today. And TV ads in New Hampshire will promote Wilson as the first governor to tackle immigration, to repeal affirmative-action laws, and to sign a ''three-strikes'' law for career criminals. Congressman Reynolds says he won't announce whether he will quit until Saturday. He was convicted last week of having sex with a minor. House minority leader Gephardt said Thursday that Reynolds should resign before he is faced with hearings that could lead to his expulsion. Students may read Bibles and distribute religious literature in public schools. But organized prayer in classrooms or assemblies led by students, teachers, or school officials is not allowed. This, according to new administration guidelines on school prayer completed Friday. White House aides said they hoped to clear up confusion over the issue that has led schools to clamp down on all expressions of faith. They also want to blunt a Republican drive for a constitutional amendment on school prayer. Honda's former top US sales executive was sentenced Friday to five years in jail in what prosecutors called the biggest-ever commercial bribery case. In all, 22 former Honda executives and dealers face punishment in a scheme that spanned 30 states and involved $15 million in bribes during the 1980s. Philip Morris took back sensitive documents after a settlement over an ABC news report last week. But Congressman Waxman and attorneys for a class-action lawsuit said Thursday they want access to the papers, which they say reveal how Philip Morris manipulates nicotine levels to hook smokers. The World A reconstituted team of US negotiators planned to leave for Europe yesterday to press a new Bosnia peace initiative. The team planned to fly to Paris, where Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke planned to meet Bosnia's Muslim President Izetbegovic today. The team also plans to attend a meeting Tuesday of the contact group, which oversees Bosnia peace efforts. Meanwhile, more peacekeepers were scheduled to leave the ''safe area'' Gorazde yesterday. The pullout of all but a handful of unarmed UN monitors was to be completed by tomorrow. Two members of the Muslim militant group Hamas suspected of involvement in bomb attacks were sentenced to prison Saturday by a secret Palestinian military tribunal. Israel opened the West Bank border yesterday, but left Jericho cordoned off after Palestinian police refused to hand over the two militants. Israel also closed the town because of reports of suspects hiding there. Separately, Jordan and Egypt, once at odds over Iraqi President Hussein during the Gulf war, held talks regarding Baghdad in Amman Saturday. (Story, Page 1.) Northern Ireland announced Friday plans to speed releases over five years of about 400 guerrillas on both sides of the conflict if peace holds. Secretary Sir Patrick Mayhew also promised reviews of counterinsurgency laws, policing, and possible troop cuts. He reiterated the need for guerrillas to surrender their weapons for negotiations to take place. Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams criticized Britain Saturday for failing to call for new peace talks a year after the paramilitary cease-fire. The concessions on guerrilla prisoners' remissions were inadequate, he said. Ireland's former Prime Minister Albert Reynolds said yesterday the guerrillas should be allowed to join talks without giving up arms. Women in nearly every country gained voting rights this century, but getting them elected is harder than it was in the late 1980s. Women's share of seats in national legislatures declined nearly 15 percent worldwide in 1988 to just over 11 percent , according to a survey by the Inter-Parliamentary Union. The detailed 1945-95 survey released Saturday shows only Nordic governments reflecting balanced gender representation. President Jacques Chirac has the lowest popularity rating of any modern French president at a similar stage of his term. His adherence to nuclear testing in the South Pacific and impatience over reforms are blamed for the severe dip, an opinion poll showed Saturday. The Kurdistan Democratic Party claimed Sunday that a rival Kurdish faction from Turkey - the PKK - launched major attacks on its bases in northern Iraq, seeking to wreck a peace pact. As many as 300,000 people in northern Sri Lanka face hunger due to a standoff between the Red Cross and the government ahead of a widely expected army offensive against the Tamil rebel stronghold there, government officials said yesterday. A US Drug Enforcement employee was killed in Karachi, Pakistan, while waiting for a bus. Muhammad Shahnawaz Toor and his son were shot by a man on a motorcycle. The son was said to be in critical condition. Latin America smugglers have shifted their routes, flying over Brazil's unmonitored Amazon rain forest. Brazil hopes to target that area with a $1.4 billion surveillance network of satellites, radar, and infrared sensors. Etcetera Plant a tree and help save the planet. That's the message of a new study. Its research shows that plants in the Northern Hemisphere absorb about half the carbon dioxide emitted by burning fossil fuels. That's more than previously thought. The study says plants are as important as the oceans in balancing the so-called greenhouse effect. The three tenors - Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, and Jose Carreras - have finally harmonized their busy schedules and will launch their first world tour next year, according to Britain's Sunday Times. A bicycle made near the beginning of the century for playwright George Bernard Shaw sold for $820 Saturday at Scotland's first international cycle auction in Edinburgh. A 210-megawatt wind-power project planned for northwestern Maine would be the first built in New England, the biggest east of the Mississippi, and one of the largest in the world. Kenetech Windpower plans to erect hundreds of huge high-tech windmills along 150-foot-wide corridors carved out of forest land. The Coca-Cola Company has become the first American firm to open a plant in Vietnam since the US restored diplomatic ties with that nation. World's Top 10 Women Tennis Players This list is current through Aug. 25, but it could change soon: The US Open begins today. (Story, Page 14.) 1. Steffi Graf, Germany 1. Monica Seles, US 2. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Spain 3. Conchita Martinez, Spain 4. Jana Novotna, Czech Republic 5. Mary Pierce, France 6. Kimiko Date, Japan 7. Magdalena Maleeva, Bulgaria 8. Gabriela Sabatini, Argentina 9. Lindsay Davenport, US - Associated Press '' We have too much at stake both in China and the United States to neglect this relationship and try to isolate each other.'' - Undersecretary of State Peter Tarnoff, on maintaining Washington-Beijing ties

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