News In Brief

THE US

Senator Packwood will leave Congress Oct. 1. He resigned Thursday, the day that many pages of his diaries were made public. They detailed a life of sexual exploits, drunkenness, and accepting lobbyists' money for favors. Senator Dole clashed with Democrats on Friday over Packwood's departure date. Dole wanted 90 days. Senator Roth, a tax-cut proponent, will become Finance Committee chairman.

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White House hopefuls vied for the Christian Coalition's support at the group's annual conference this weekend. Abortion was a litmus-test issue: Pat Buchanan questioned Senators Dole and Gramm's conservative credentials, noting they voted for two pro-choice Supreme Court nominees. Earlier, Gramm urged Dole to pledge to protect the GOP's anti-abortion platform plank. Dole refused, saying "Don't look at pledges, look at the record."

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The FBI agent who killed Vicki Weaver, wife of white separatist Randy Weaver, is to testify tomorrow at hearings on the 1992 shootout at Ruby Ridge. On Friday, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms chief John Magaw said he would change ATF informant guidelines. He admitted that they now reward informants based on the magnitude of the violation and therefore encourage falsification. But Magaw denied an assertion that the ATF singled out Weaver. Earlier, an undercover ATF agent defended the agency's handling of the case, saying Weaver promised him "shotguns all day long."

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In hopes of breaking a disarmament deadlock, Gerry Adams, head of the IRA's political wing, Sinn Fein, was to meet with Clinton's national security adviser today. At issue: the IRA's refusal to comply with Britain's demand that it disarm before all-party peace talks begin. Adams seeks US support as Clinton goes to Britain and Northern Ireland in November - a time most agree will be critical to restarting stalled talks.

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Hurricane Luis looked to be skirting Bermuda yesterday, but Carribean residents are starting to assess the storm's damage. Antiguan media said 95 percent of the island's buildings were destroyed. Sixteen deaths are blamed on Luis. "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" host Robin Leach, who has a home in Antigua, coordinated one of dozens of relief efforts for several islands. The storm is not expected to hit the US mainland.

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The GOP Medicare overhaul plan, to be released this week, would increase most premiums, impose annual limits on the health-care program's growth, and reduce payments to doctors and hospitals. It would also try to slow Medicare's growth by encouraging the elderly to join health maintenance organizations, says the New York Times.

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Whether controversial Calvin Klein ads are child pornography is the subject of a preliminary Justice Department investigation. The first issue: if any of the models are minors. According to one report at least one model is a minor. Klein defends the campaign in next week's New York magazine, saying "We're not trying to shock, and we're not trying to create controversy."

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After being rated the top party school in the nation by its students, the University of Rhode Island banned alcohol at student events last week. URI's president said too many students were being "imposed upon" by those whose judgment was impaired by substance abuse. Separately, a Harvard poll of 15,000 students found alcohol abuse more common among fraternity and sorority members than nonmembers: 86 percent of frat house residents said they had five drinks in a row in the previous two weeks; 80 percent of sorority women had at least four in succession.

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Helicopters delivered Detroit's newspapers yesterday. The copters flew over the heads of strikers who had blocked delivery trucks' paths out of the printing plant last Sunday.

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The Air Force must postpone a gay captain's discharge until his attorneys can prepare a first-amendment defense, a federal judge in Nebraska ruled Friday.

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A $25,000 US donation to North Korea's flood-relief fund is expected to warm ties between the nations. Floods are blamed for about $15 billion in damages.

THE WORLD

Israel granted control of municipal affairs and other areas of West Bank government to the Palestinians yesterday. Negotiators also worked for an overall agreement on expanding Palestinian control in the West Bank, including an Israeli troop withdrawal and Palestinian elections. Also, more than 1,000 Palestinians marched in the West Bank town of Halhoul and demanded the eviction of Jewish settlers from neighboring Hebron Saturday after a PLO activist was killed by Israeli militants.

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The Bosnian Serbs granted the UN permission yesterday to investigate the bombing of a hospital Saturday where the Serbs say UN artillery shells killed 10 people. The Serbs invited Western reporters to view the site in an effort to influence Western opinion on NATO airstrikes. Also, Bosnian Serb commander General Mladic is ready for concessions on improving access to Sarajevo, but will not withdraw weapons from around Sarajevo, a senior Russian envoy said yesterday after the men talked. And in a landmark meeting in Geneva Friday, Bosnian, Croatian, and the Serbian foreign ministers agreed to a single, sovereign Bosnia-Herzegovina within existing borders.

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Delegates at the World Conference on Women had reached agreement yesterday on about half of the contentious issues for a draft platform on women's rights and equality over the next decade. But the Vatican criticized the wording, accusing the EU of trying to roll back parental rights, belittle motherhood, and undermine religious faith. The declaration is to be announced Thursday.

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For the first time, top climate experts are saying global warming can be linked to human activity, according to a draft UN report quoted by the New York Times Sunday. Until now, the experts said the climate is too complex to unravel cause and effect.

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A yacht carrying seven members of parliament from Europe, Japan, and Australia that strayed into a French nuclear testing zone in the South Pacific Saturday was seized by the French military. The yacht, chartered by Greenpeace, was part of an anti-nuclear flotilla, and was attempting to sail to Mururoa Atoll to deliver a protest letter. Meanwhile, about 500 people marched to the French Embassy in Tokyo Sunday to protest the testing.

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The Guatemalan Army will demobilize its 26,000-member civilian auxiliary, a group long blamed for many of the nation's human rights abuses, reports published Saturday said. Also, Maria Teresa Sosa Avila de Rios, wife of former military strongman Gen. Efrain Rios Montt, decided to run for congress in November. So did their daughter.

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French police launched a hunt for Khaled Kelkal, an Algerian-born resident of Lyon. His fingerprints were found on a bomb that failed to detonate. A wave of bombings in France has killed seven people and injured more than 120 in the last six weeks.

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Russia began withdrawing its troops from Chechnya Saturday under a military deal signed between Moscow and separatist rebels in July, Interfax reported.

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Mexican peace mediators were to meet for a second day yesterday on rules for future negotiations to end the Zapatista uprising in the Chiapas region. It is the first time any real progress has been made since April.

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Relative calm returned to troubled East Timor's capital Dili yesterday after youth gangs rampaged across the city for two days to protest immigration from Indonesia. It was the worst rioting in the territory this year. East Timor was invaded by Indonesia in 1975 and annexed the following year.

ETCETERA

We do not bear the name of Ronald Reagan or Bob Dole or Newt Gingrich. We bear the name which is above every name."

- Ralph Reed, on the Christian Coalition's unwillingness to be affiliated with one party or one political figure.

Steffi Graf defeated Monica Seles Saturday to win the women's tennis title at the US Open in New York. It was an emotion-filled day for both women: Seles is in the midst of a super comeback; Graf has faced physical and family problems. In the men's final, Pete Sampras, who defeated Jim Courier, was to face yesterday Andre Agassi, who beat Boris Becker.

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Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan Saturday married her agent, Jerry Solomon, in a nondenominational ceremony at a church in Boston's Back Bay.

Top-10 Party Colleges

About 500 students at each of 309 colleges were asked to rate their school's party atmosphere. The following came out on top. But since the list was published, the University of Rhode Island has banned alcohol at student events. (See item at far left.)

1. University of Rhode Island (Kingston)

2. Florida State University (Tallahassee)

3. George Washington University (Washington, D.C.)

4. University of Florida (Gainesville)

5. University of California - Santa Barbara

6. St. Mary's College of Maryland (St. Mary's City)

7. State University of New York - Albany

8. Colgate University (Hamilton, N.Y.)

9. University of Vermont (Burlington)

10. St. Lawrence University (Canton, N.Y.)

- "The Princeton Review Student Access Guide to the Best 309 Colleges, 1996 edition"

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