News In Brief

By , Abraham McLaughlin, and Suman Bandrapelli

The US Turner Broadcasting may accept Time Warner's takeover bid this week to form the world's largest media company. Turner's board was expected to meet as early as last night to vote on the $8 billion deal. Approval was expected, in part because of the recent spate of industry mergers. The deal had flagged in recent days, but several concessions to Tele-Communications Inc. head John Malone apparently broke the logjam. These included changing Time Warner's bylaws to allow Malone to buy a large stake in the new firm. Anthony ''Tony Buck'' Piccolo, and Vincent ''Al Pajamas'' Pagano were among the eight reputed Philadelphia crime bosses who went on trial yesterday. They are charged with a range of crimes from murder to extortion. Piccolo had reportedly been backed by New York's Gambino crime family and Italy's Sicilian mafia. Prosecutors were armed with hundreds of secretly recorded conversations in which defendants discuss in gruesome detail ways to kill their rivals. The US will open 20 tons of nuclear bomb-building material to UN inspection, the administration said yesterday. The move came in Vienna as the US pushed other nations to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Shuttle Endeavour landed in Florida yesterday. After spending much of 11 days fixing balky high-tech satellites, astronauts spent the last few hours in space fixing the most mundane of problems: plumbing. A clogged filter had jammed the shuttle's pipes. Hurricane Marilyn was moving toward Bermuda yesterday, as the island readied itself for 100 m.p.h. winds. It was not expected to hit the US mainland. In the Virgin Islands, shop owners tried to stop looting while authorities attended to more pres-sing needs: cleaning up after 80 percent of the island's buildings were destroyed. The Senate's welfare-reform bill was expected to pass last night. It would end federal guarantees of cash assistance, send funds in block grants to states, curb spending by $70 billion over seven years, and spend $8 billion for child care. It would need to be reconciled with a conservative House bill backed by Senator Gramm. The House plan would cut spending by $122 billion and ban benefits to underage unmarried mothers and to children born to welfare moms. Senator Gramm won a straw poll of GOP women in Albuquerque, N.M, Sunday. He got 35 percent of 1,200 votes at the National Federation of Republican Women's meeting. The results were partially based on who attended. Gramm brought his wife, Wendy. Lamar Alexander, who got second place, attended. Dole, who got third, did not. Should the government tell farmers what to plant? The GOP's ''Freedom to Farm'' plan would allow farmers freedom in choosing their crops and would cut $13.4 billion from federal agriculture subsidies by 2002. It would scrap the current crop-subsidy system and slowly phaseout crop payments. The plan, which Speaker Gingrich backs, is to be taken up by the House Agriculture panel tomorrow. The Republicans' ''narrow extremist message'' is Clinton's biggest reelection edge, Vice President Gore told Democratic supporters in weekend speeches. Recent polls, he said, show voters are leery of turning more power over to the Republicans. ''The black community is ripe'' for a renewal, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said Sunday at a speech in Anacostia, Washington, D.C.'s poorest neighborhood. Black Americans have themselves to blame for high poverty, joblessness, and crime rates, he said, but the government has aided the decline by allowing corporate America to move jobs abroad. Solutions to the community's woes include lack of pride, which he hopes to rectify during a Million Man March next month in the capital. The World Croat troops and their Muslim allies have carved up Bosnia in recent days along the lines of a US-sponsored peace plan, UN officials said yesterday. But further expansion toward Banja Luka could collapse the plan: If Serb losses continue, they might break off negotiations and send the Serb-led Yugoslav Army to Bosnia, the officials added. The Serbs were granted a 72-hour reprive Sunday from NATO airstrikes because they had moved half their weapons from Sarajevo when the first deadline expired. PLO leader Arafat accused Israel of blocking an accord on expanding Palestinian rule in the West Bank Monday. Arafat was to meet with Israeli Foreign Minister Peres yesterday afternoon. The planned signing of an agreement in Washington Thursday is likely to be delayed due to disagreement over the town of Hebron, home to 400 Jewish settlers and 100,000 Palestinians. Also, Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama promise Arafat yesterday that Japan would help monitor Palestinian elections after Israel hands over more of the West Bank. Hong Kong sent a strong message to Beijing yesterday: Pro-democracy candidates captured 16 out of 20 geographical constituencies in the British colony's last legislative elections before its 1997 handover to China. The Democrats, the party most disliked by China, won 12 seats. The pro-China party won two. (Story, Page 6.) A month-long standoff between Canadian police and a rebel group of native Americans in British Columbia ended Sunday when an Indian spiritual leader convinced the group to lay down their arms. The Indians were occupying a private ranch they claiming was on sacred aboriginal ground. The Philippines signed an agreement to pay 10,000 victims of human rights abuses under the late President Ferdinand Marcos $100 million if they drop charges against Marcos, their lawyer said Monday. Earlier, the Hawaii Federal Court awarded them 1.9 billion in damages. Muslim militants assassinated an independent presidential candidate Sunday. Opposition groups are boycotting the Nov. 16 elections, which they say is a ploy to legitimize the current military-backed regime. On Sunday, witnesses said armed Islamic militants burst into a village Friday and killed 15 men, women, and children, then bulldozed their homes. More than 30,000 people have been killed in Algeria since January 1992, when the army canceled legislative elections. Haiti's final round of elections got off to a slow start Sunday with disillusioned voters. The runoff elections were for races where no majorities were won June 25 and in makeup elections Aug. 13. Partisans of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide were expected to win. A non-profit foundation run by President Ernesto Samper's wife diverted funds to his election campaign, a Columbian newspaper, El Tiempo, reported Sunday. Samper and his wife denied the charges, which El Tiempo backed up by publishing copies of three checks. In Lima, Peru, a once-powerful jailed Shinning Path leader, Margie Clavo Peralata, called on his group to abandon their arms in the fight against the Peruvian government. Nearly 30,000 Peruvians have died in political violence since Shinning Path began fighting in 1980. Only 23 percent of Sri Lankans approve of a government peace plan offering extensive autonomy to minority Tamils in the north and east of the country, an independent opinion poll released yesterday showed. A majority prefer military action against the rebels. President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga announced a plan in August to end the 12-year war. Etcetera Eden Cale won an Eloise look-alike contest on Sunday. It was staged in Eloise's fictional residence, the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The tiny contestants carried one-armed dolls, dragged turtles on leashes, and stuck their tongues out. In typical Eloise tradition, the busiest people around were the bellhops. More Rolls may roll on roads if a new leasing program succeeds. Rolls-Royce officials hope the $1,699-a-month, 36-month lease, will pander to the dreams of a new range of owners. Luxury, however, still comes with a decent price tag: it all adds up to a cool $140,000. Moooove over Bessie. Britain has a new world champion milk producer - Acme Goldy II. The British Friesian cow produces about 17.6 gallons of milk a day. The past record, held by an Indiana cow since 1975, was about 15.2 gallons a day. Some Purdue University research has punctured a old myth: Blue-collar workers are highly creative and like what they are doing, the research concluded. For those who can afford it, first class just got a little better. British Airways' new first-class service will feature individual cabins that customers can use as a private office, a mini-meeting room, a dining room for two, or even a bedroom: It has a full-size bed. Swiss Are Choco-Champs According to the International Cocoa Organization, the Swiss eat the most chocolate per capita each year: an average of 21.4 lb. The top-10 chocoholic nations are: (Pounds per person per year) 1. Switzerland 21.4 2. Austria 19.2 3. Norway 17.9 4. Belgium-Luxembourg 16.1 4. Britain 16.1 6. Denmark 15.0 6. Ireland 15.0 8. Australia 13.0 9. Sweden 11.0 10. United States 10.8 - AP '' I like her because she is pretty, she lives in a hotel - I'd like to live in a hotel, 'cause you can call room service all the time.'' - Kindergartener Stephanie Harmer on the children's book character, Eloise.

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