News In Brief

THE US

"There will be no peace settlement in Bosnia unless NATO and the United States in particular take the lead in its implementation," Secretary of State Christopher said yesterday. Speaking to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Christopher and Defense Secretary Perry defended the planned use of 25,000 US peacekeeping troops in the region should peace break out. Joint Chiefs Chairman Shalikashvili Senator Thurmond, the panel's chair, said Monday the Clinton Administration has failed to articulate the US's national interest in deploying the troops.

Million Man Marchers returned home to start making good on a pledge made at Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan's urging: "I ... will strive to improve myself spiritually, morally, mentally, socially, politically, and economically for the benefit of myself, my family, and my people," the men chanted together Monday. Specific behests from Farrakhan and Rev. Jesse Jackson included adopting a black child, befriending a black inmate, or getting to know their child's teachers.

"I am shocked and dismayed that President Clinton did not ... denounce Louis Farrakhan by name," Senator Dole said. He and Lamar Alexander, another GOP presidential hopeful, criticized Clinton's response on Monday to the Nation of Islam leader, saying Farrakhan is anti-Semitic and racist. Pat Buchanan and Senator Gramm also condemned Farrakhan but say they supported the goals of the march.

If there is a run on Japanese banks in the US, Uncle Sam would rush to their aid, Rep. Jim Leach said Monday. The Federal Reserve would reportedly float short-term loans to cover any shortfalls. Concern is rising that such a scenario could occur: Japan's banks are suffering from declining Japanese real estate and stock markets. Since the banks hold about 17 percent of all credit to US commercial and industrial borrowers, the US has an interest in their solvency.

Senate Republicans are agreed: Families will get a permanent $500-per-child tax credit when the Finance Committee meets this week to approve the tax-cut bill. The consensus comes after a rift - including between presidential hopefuls Dole and Gramm - over whether the cut should be permanent. Still to be determined: the income limit that would exclude families from the cuts. Proposals range from $100,000 to $200,000.

Getting hired at the UN is all about connections and not qualifications, says a survey of United Nations employees around the world. The poll, released Monday, comes as US congressional critics say the UN must streamline its bureaucracy in order to receive the $1.2 billion owed by the US. Of 4,252 respondents, 70 percent said the UN does not attract "staff possessing the highest level of integrity and competence." Nepotism and political pressure were cited as the main factors in hiring.

The nation's police chiefs were urged to redouble their efforts to rebuild public confidence in law enforcement at a Miami convention Monday. John Magaw, director of the embattled federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said "It's time to set an example for all to see, and move forward."

The demand for food aid is greater now than ever, according to a US Agency for International Development report. The report cautioned Congress, which is considering a $700 million cut in 1996, and said 15 percent of the world's people are hungry.

Trains should be chugging though Arizona again today. Amtrack says it has fixed the track where last week's terrorist derailment occurred. The FBI set up roadblocks around the crash area yesterday, seeking tips from motorists. It is still searching for the only known witness to the crime - a person only described as wearing a cowboy hat.

Rev. Billy Graham hopes the Unabomber will attend one of his upcoming mass prayer meetings and receive spiritual salvation. The first of five events in Sacramento, Calif., is scheduled for today. The FBI says the elusive terrorist may live in the area.

California kids who bring guns to school or pull knives on classmates must be kicked out of school under a new law signed by Gov. Pete Wilson Monday. The "zero tolerance" policy also requires expulsion for selling drugs on campus and sends expelled students to alternative schools with longer class hours.

THE WORLD

A bomb exploded on a subway train near the Orsay Museum in Paris yesterday, injuring at least 25 people. Authorities said the blast, the eighth bombing or attempted bombing since July, may be the work of Algerian militants opposed to France's support of Algeria's military-installed government. A man apparently of North African descent was detained after he was seen rushing from the scene. On Monday, police arrested a man outside the Mexican Embassy after he set down a gas canister equipped with a firing device.

A Moscow meeting of the five-nation Contact group left questions on Bosnia unanswered, US and Russian negotiators said yesterday. But the peace process is still on course, they added. The negotiations were the last high-level meeting before talks between the warring sides at the end of the month in the US. Also, in Zagreb, Croatia, international envoys failed to solve a dispute between Croatia and rebel Serbs over where to hold peace talks over contested oil-producing territory along the River Danube. And Bosnian Serb leaders asked Serbia to come to their rescue after weeks of losses in Bosnia.

The US embargo of Cuba was expected to be a big issue when leaders of 21 Latin American countries convened yesterday at a ski resort in Bariloche, Argentina. The US is considering tightening the embargo. But after years of disagreement, Latin America countries apparently agree it should be lifted. Also, in Asuncion, Paraguay, Hillary Rodham Clinton addressed the fifth annual conference of first ladies from the hemisphere Monday. She said Latin America's vast potential was "being wasted" because the needs of women and children are not being met.

China's ambassador to the US will return to his post this week, some four months after Beijing withdrew him to protest a US visit by Taiwan's president.

Israel lifted a month-old travel ban, allowing thousands of West Bank and Gaza Strip workers to return to their jobs over the border. Also, Israel's Cabinet met for a special session Tuesday to deliberate military options against the militant group Hizbullah, which has been linked to the deaths of nine Israeli soldiers in attacks last week. And PLO leader Arafat released Hamas leader Sheik Ahmed Bahar (hugging his mother above) Monday after four months in jail. The Palestinian Authority and Hamas are about to sign a National Unity agreement.

Support for Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama's coalition hit a new record: Some 43.9 percent of Japanese, up from 43.6 percent in August, no longer support the three-party government. Meanwhile, the opposition Shinshinto (New Frontier Party) refused to consider revisions to a religious law yesterday submitted to parliament by the government. Amendments to the law would allow the government greater freedom to check the financial accounts and other documents of religious groups. Shinshinto said it was politically motivated.

The management of Barings bank was to blame for its spectacular collapse earlier this year, Singapore said yesterday. Barings went bust Feb. 27 after Singapore-based trader Nick Leeson piled up $1.89 billion in losses on Asian futures markets.

British and Irish government ministers met yesterday to try to rescue Northern Ireland's peace process. Northern Ireland Secretary Sir Patrick Mayhew and Irish Deputy Prime Minister Dick Spring said they hoped to pave the way for summit talks scuttled last month by lack of agreement.

Twenty-two people were missing after their barge sank Sunday in the Gulf of Mexico. At least 219 were rescued; three people were killed. Hurricane Roxanne, downgraded to a tropical storm, continued to harass the Mexican coast.

ETCETERA

The night has been long. The wound has been deep. The pit has been dark. And the walls have been steep. ... Draw near to one another. Save your race."

- Poet Maya Angelou at the Million Man March.

Six young pianists have made it to the Friday finals of Poland's Frederic Chopin International Piano Competition. Among the finalists is Gabriela Montero of the United States.

British poetry lovers to mark National Poetry Day chose as their favorite poem "If" by Rudyard Kipling. The poem begins: "If you can keep your head when all about you/Are losing theirs and blaming it on you...."

Jeanne Calment of France has been on the planet for 120 years and 238 days. When you are the oldest living human on record, you keep track of these things. She set the new record yesterday. "Madame Calment's record is arguably the most important of the 15,000 records included in the Guinness Book," editor Norris McWhirter said.

Top Washington Marches

1. Vietnam War rally 600,000 - Nov. 1969

2. Vietnam War rally 500,000 - April 1971

3. Women's march and rally 500,000 - April 1992

4. Million Man March 400,000 - Oct. 1995

5. Gay rights march 300,000 - April 1993

6. Civil rights march 300,000 - Aug. 1983

7. Abortion-rights march 300,000 - April 1989

8. Solidarity Day labor march 260,000 - Sept. 1981

9. Civil rights march about 250,000 - Aug. 1963

10. Solidarity Day labor march 250,000 - Aug. 1991

- National Park Service

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