News In Brief

THE US

O.J. Simpson said he's confident he'll find a job and be able to move on with his life, The New York Times reported yesterday. The paper said Simpson initiated the call Wednesday to explain why he canceled his scheduled interview with NBC. He said his lawyers urged him to pull out because he could damage his chances in upcoming civil suits filed against him. Simpson also acknowledged he had been wrong to "get physical" with his then-wife Nicole Brown Simpson in 1989 and was now willing to meet with "battered women" to "talk about my relationship." He questioned figures suggesting that up to 70 percent of the public is convinced of his guilt. "I don't think most of America believes I did it," Simpson told The Times.

The FBI continued its search for the person or persons responsible for derailing an Amtrak train this week in Arizona. FBI agents are hoping to form a psychological profile of the person who penned the antigovernment letters found at the crime scene. Agents also interviewed the editor of a magazine for train buffs. They said the derailment bears a strong similarity to a 1939 case of track tampering featured in the magazine's latest issue.

Deadbeat parents beware: Lawmakers are proposing legislation that would revoke not just a parent's driver's license but also an occupational or sporting license if he or she refuses to pay child support. The two bills require every that state have a program to revoke or restrict the licenses of nonpaying parents and a registry to track new hiring and match employment records with child-support obligations.

On taxes: Senate Republicans are considering a plan that would put their proposed $500-per-child tax credit in parents' pockets before the '96 elections. The House Budget Committee was expected to pass yesterday a portion of the Republican plan for cutting spending and taxes and eliminating the deficit by 2002.

The first nationally televised forum of the 1996 campaign held Wednesday in New Hampshire was more of a joint appearance by the 10 GOP presidential candidates than a debate. Senator Dole remained in the spotlight while his nine rivals struggled to emerge from his shadow.

A new report says the dwindling stockpile of US nuclear weapons is now positioned in just 16 states. That is nine fewer than three years ago, according to nuclear specialists Robert Norris and William Arkin.

The Navy opened court-martial proceedings yesterday in Washington against Capt. Everett Green. Green is accused of sexually harassing two female subordinates while he headed the Navy office responsible for handling sexual- harassment complaints.

The Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games' final financial forecast showed that organizers still expect to break even. The $1.61 billion bottom line was up slightly on both the revenue and expense side from earlier forecasts.

In the murder trial of Selena, the Tenjano singing star, witnesses testified in Houston yesterday that defendant Yolanda Saldivar, after being accused of embezzling funds as president of the Selena fan club, applied to buy the gun used to kill the star. Saldivar's attorney claims the shooting was an accident. If convicted, Saldivar could get up to life in prison.

The Miami Herald said it will eliminate 300 jobs and combine some sections of the newspaper to cut $32 million. The paper said the cuts are the result of rising newsprint costs and slipping circulation.

Wholesale prices rose 0.3 percent in September, the first advance in four months and the largest in nearly a year, as the summer drought reduced harvests and sharply boosted vegetable costs, the Labor Department reported.

THE WORLD

A cease-fire took hold yesterday in most of Bosnia, though fighting between government and rebel Serb forces continued in the northwest. Over the past week, the Muslim-led government and its Croat allies have scrambled to grab Serb-held territory. Nevertheless, the two sides opened talks at Sarajevo airport with UN officials on fully implementing the cease-fire. In Brussels, NATO ambassadors approved a five-point outline plan to send thousands of troops to Bosnia to police any peace that emerges from the 60-day, US-brokered truce, alliance sources said.

The UN official in charge of scrapping Iraq's weapons of mass destruction said Baghdad had misled his inspectors and had developed far more powerful arms than previously thought. Iraq tested germ warfare agents on animals and may still be hiding missiles that could reach targets thousands of miles away, according to Rolf Ekeus, head of the UN Special Commission.

Vice President Alberto Dahik, architect of Ecuador's economic reforms, resigned Wednesday after the Supreme Court issued an arrest order against him on charges of embezzlement. Congress is to hold a special session today to discuss Dahik's resignation and a possible replacement.

Austria's two-party governing coalition collapsed yesterday in disagreement over the country's 1996 budget, setting the stage for likely new elections that could benefit the right-wing populist opposition. The conservative People's Party charged that the Social Democrats wanted to rely too much on new taxes to reduce the 1996 budget deficit instead of cutting into Austria's generous social safety net.

Riot police fired in the air and used tear gas yesterday to disperse rival groups of youths on the third day of unrest over East Timorese independence.

Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama moved to avert a showdown with the Okinawa governor over US military bases yesterday by arranging to send his defense minister to the island. Defense Minister Seishiro Eto will try to persuade the governor to authorize land leases between Tokyo and the US. The debate centers on the alleged rape of a girl by three US servicemen.

PLO leader Arafat said his government had made progress toward a cease-fire agreement with the Muslim militant group Hamas. He also said Hamas had decided to take part in elections in the West Bank and Gaza, scheduled for next year. Hamas denied the claim, saying it remained opposed to the Israeli-PLO peace deal.

Rockets launched by rebels pounded the Afghan capital of Kabul yesterday, and opposition Taliban militiamen battled government troops on the perimeter of the beleaguered city. The fighting marked the second day of an offensive against President Burhanuddin Rabbani's forces.

South Korean and US troops are to begin an annual joint military exercise today to test responses to any perceived threat from communist North Korea. The exercise, involving the majority of 37,000 US troops stationed in South Korea, will continue until Nov. 17.

A UN meeting debating curbs on land mines was near failure yesterday. After three weeks of talks, delegates from more than 40 countries faced today's deadline with disagreements remaining on how to toughen a 1980 treaty on the mines.

China lacks the political will to make good on its promise to end piracy of US software, musical recordings, and movies, which has returned to record levels, American industry representatives said yesterday. They warned that China faced a renewed threat of US sanctions.

Gunmen kidnapped a Russian military official in Chechnya, Russian news agencies said yesterday. A search has been launched for Lt. Col. Alexander Fadeyev and the assailants.

ETCETERA

Hey, hey, what do you say? How many seniors are you going to arrest today?"

- Pat Schroeder (D) Colorado, criticizing the GOP Medicare plan. Seniors were ejected Wednesday from the Ways and Means Committee hearing.

As the world honors this year's Nobel prize-winners, there's talk in Sweden about a Nobel loser: the new film about Alfred Nobel. Critics panned "Alfred," the first feature movie about the inventor of dynamite and creator of the prestigious prizes.

*

Hurricanes that battered the East Coast of the United States recently were ill winds that have blown British butterfly enthusiasts some good. They have reported more than 35 sightings of US Monarch butterflies in the past few days.

*

The world's favorite trio of tenors - Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, and Luciano Pavarotti (l. to r.) - announced Wednesday that they will reprise their hit Rome and Los Angeles concerts in five new cities, starting next June. They will perform in Tokyo, London, Munich, Melbourne, and East Rutherford, N.J.

*

The eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991 caused changes in the Red Sea that killed delicate corals, Israeli scientists said Wednesday. The blast spewed 20 million tons of sulfur.

The 16 States With Nuclear Warheads

1. North Dakota 1,710

2. Louisiana 1,010

3. Georgia 768

4. Washington 768

5. Wyoming 582

6. South Dakota 350

7. Texas 350

8. Nebraska 255

9. Montana 250

10. Nevada 200

11. Missouri 150

12. Colorado 138

13. New Mexico 120

14. California 100

15. Virginia 100

16. South Carolina 100

- The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists/AP

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