News In Brief

By , Abraham McLaughlin, and Peter Nordahl

The US Turner Broadcasting System is considering an $8.5 billion merger offer from Time Warner in which Turner would become a wholly owned subsidiary of the media giant. Reports said Turner Chairman Ted Turner could okay the deal as early as tomorrow. The marriage would bring together the owners of, among other entities, Time and Sports Illustrated magazines, Warner Bros, HBO, CNN, and the Atlanta Braves. Together they would dominate global media with $18.7 billion in revenues, surpassing the recent Disney/ABC merger and dwarfing a Westinghouse/CBS union. The economy slowed dramatically in 1995's second quarter, the Commerce Department said yesterday. Although the economy is expanding at its slowest pace in four years - 1.1 percent - the rate was higher than expected due to high consumer spending. Almost everyone in LA except the Simpson jury heard detective Mark Fuhrman's racially charged comments from a recorded tape on Tuesday. And in a city that has not fully recovered from riots stemming from the police beating of Rodney King, the tapes elicited widespread indignation and deepened distrust of the police department. Black community leaders have called for a federal investigation into incidents of police brutality that Fuhrman mentions. Judge Lance Ito was to spend yesterday deciding if the jury will hear the tapes. House members raised a record-breaking $43.8 million in the first half of 1995 - 38 percent more than 1993, the beginning of the last election cycle. Reflecting their new-found power, Republicans far out-raised Democrats, getting $27.5 million. Republicans averaged $121,000; Democrats averaged $86,000. (List, at right.) Computerphiles bought 1 million copies of Windows 95 in its first four days of availability, Microsoft said Tuesday. Although the number far out-paced the company's projections, so too did phone calls from people having trouble with the new software. Microsoft said its 1,600 troubleshooters can field 20,000 calls a day. The lines have been at above capacity for a week. NASA hoped to launch Endeavour today, but rain from tropical storm remnants rolling toward Cape Canaveral threatened the blast off. President and Mrs. Clinton planned to fly to Hawaii this morning for ceremonies commemorating the end of World War II. (Story, Page 10.) Applying the ''workfare'' concept to public housing, HUD Secretary Cisneros proposed on Tuesday requiring public-housing residents to attend classes. Funding for the locally run classes would come out of an already-appropriated $1.5 billion budget. HUD is also considering a time limit on occupancy. Defense and health-related fields are the only areas of government research to be spared the GOP budget-cutting knife, according to an American Association for the Advancement of Science report issued Tuesday. Bills currently in Congress would trim the 1996 research budget to $31.5 billion, down 5.2 percent from 1995. But health-research spending would increase 6.2 percent to $11.4 billion. And defense-related research would rise 3.7 percent to $39 billion. In the first formal complaint to NAFTA, environmental groups want the free-trade association to block a new US law. They say the law, which sets aside the Endangered Species Act to allow more logging in national forests, violates a US-Mexican agreement. EPA chief Browner and her Mexican and Canadian counterparts will now take up the case and issue a preliminary ruling. The World US peace envoy Richard Holbrooke and Serbian President Milosevic held urgent talks yesterday after NATO delivered a military blow to Bosnian Serb separatists. An important Serb ammunition depot was hit. NATO is prepared to continue targeting Serb positions around Sarajevo for several days. The assault was in retaliation for the shelling of a Sarajevo marketplace that killed 37 people. Five senior members of an EU monitoring team were killed during the attacks in Serb-held territory outside Sarajevo yesterday. And a photographer reportedly saw a French warplane explode in midair and two parachutes in the sky. Russia condemned the NATO and Serb attacks and called for an international peace conference to settle the war. (Story, Page 1.) Palestinian police arrested dozens of suspected Muslim militants in the Gaza Strip, the latest crackdown on armed opponents to Israel-PLO peace talks, PLO chief Arafat said Tuesday. The sweep netted weapons, explosives, ammunition, and a suspected suicide bomber planning to blow himself up in Jerusalem's central bus station, police said. Meanwhile, Israeli police arrested four Jewish settlers yesterday for assaulting Palestinians. (Story, Page. 1.) Organizers of a women's NGO conference near Beijing are defying Chinese officials who said protests criticizing China are not allowed, and demonstrations must be restricted to a small school yard within conference grounds. The NGO Forum's executive director told a news conference that China never told the organizers of restrictions, and freedom of expression will be allowed throughout the grounds. Japan tried to defuse a row with China yesterday over aid cuts to protest Beijing's nuclear tests. After a day of intense debate between foreign ministry officials, Japan said it decided not to cut off the grant aid. Georgian authorities arrested 10 people suspected of involvement in a car bombing Tuesday outside the parliament building in Tbilisi. The attack injured Georgian leader Shevardnadze. Nearly 65,000 people fled when boiling mud cascaded down Mt. Penatubo in the Philippines. Heavy rains from typhoon Kent loosened tons of debris left from the volcano's 1991 eruption. Air Force helicopters rescued some who were marooned. Peace talks in Mexico between the government and Zapatista rebels are ''exhausted'' in their current form, the rebels said Tuesday. But they stopped short of breaking off the talks set to resume Sept. 5. Meanwhile, as President Ernesto Zedillo prepared to give his first state of the nation address tomorrow, his critics said he had no achievements to celebrate. Rwanda's president sacked four Cabinet ministers Tuesday, a day after firing the prime minister. The shake-up threatened to further destabilize the country. He told parliament Monday that government discord was affecting national unity. The British and Irish prime ministers may meet next week to try to break the deadlock over disarming IRA guerrillas. North Korea claims recent floods have affected 5.2 million people and caused $15 billion in damage, the UN said yesterday. Analysts said the crisis has long-term implications for the Communist country, which touts self-reliance as the linchpin of its political and social philosophy. Twenty-five people went on trial in South Korea yesterday over the collapse of a department store in June that killed more than 500 people. Also, legislators from 22 Asian and Pacific nations meeting in Seoul condemned China and France, demanding they stop nuclear testing. Etcetera Cell phones are suddenly ringing everywhere in Israel, spurred by some of the lowest calling prices in the world. Even distant military outposts are no longer so remote: Troops in southern Lebanon order pizza delivered to the border. The US Forest Service will resume its fall foliage hotline in September. A recorded message updated weekly will suggest routes for good viewing in selected national forests. The number is 1-800-354-4595. A typical space probe encounters just one particle of space dust every three days. But Galileo has been running into 20,000 per day. Scientists aren't sure whether this dust cloud - the densest ever recorded - came from Jupiter or a comet that crashed into the big red planet last year. Copious Campaign Cash In the first half of 1995, the House set a new fund-raising record: $43.8 million. The top 10 earners follow: 1. Dick Gephardt, (D) Mo. $1,218,922 2. Newt Gingrich, (R) Ga. $884,897 3. Tom Delay, (R) Texas $486,084 4. Joseph Kennedy, (D) Mass. $473,205 5. John Ensign, (R) N.Y. $448,698 6. Nita Lowey, (D) N.Y. $429,303 7. Thomas Davis, (R) Va. $397,903 8. Charles Schumer, (D) N.Y. $ 397,048 9. John Christensen, (R) Neb. $370,388 10. Joe Barton, (R) Texas $348,709 - Federal Election Commission '' They confirm in the minds of most African-Americans what we knew all along - that Mark Fuhrman and what he represents amount to the worst in law enforcement.'' - Urban League President John Mack, on racist comments made in a series of tapes by Detective Fuhrman.

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