News In Brief

By , Suman Bandrapalli, Abraham McLaughlin, and Peter Nordahl

The US

The Senate took up debate on the budget bill yesterday that Speaker Gingrich has called ''one of the great cheerful gambles of modern times.'' Republicans went into 11th-hour closed-door negotiations yesterday to assure passage by swaying moderates to their side. Moderates have been holding out with these demands: shrink the $42 billion reduction in the earned income tax credit; eliminate most or all of the $10 billion cut in student loans; restore federal requirements for nursing-home care; and reduce the $245 billion tax-cut package to $170 billion. (Story, Page 1.)

President Clinton and China's President Jiang met Tuesday in New York to stabilize a relationship frayed by disputes over human rights, trade, and Taiwan. On Taiwan, Clinton reaffirmed the US ''one China'' policy. On China's human rights record, Jiang said the US should not interfere in domestic matters. Clinton aides said the meeting intended to mend ties rather than solve problems.

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AFL-CIO union members voted for a new president yesterday. Challenger John Sweeney and incumbent AFL-CIO president Thomas Donahue squared off in an often-personal debate before more than 1,000 delegates Tuesday as union leaders negotiated the expansion of the 35-member executive council.

Can a private group involved in abortions in a country where abortions are legal get US aid? A House-Senate committee approved several Clinton policy measures in the $12.13 billion foreign aid bill, but the abortion issue threatened its future. Approved measures include: Nearly $400 million in weapons sale to Pakistan; $3 billion in aid to Israel; $2.1 billion in aid to Egypt; and $700 million in additional funding for the World Bank.

George Baird became the sixth FBI agent to be suspended in the Ruby Ridge incident. He was put on administrative leave until investigation of the 1992 siege is completed. Prosecutors have identified Baird as a ''target'' of the grand jury investigation. Meanwhile, in an unusual alliance, the ACLU and gun-rights groups urged new controls to prevent abuse of power by federal agents.

Police sharpshooters positioned themselves atop buildings around Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Mass., Tuesday as PLO leader Yasser Arafat addressed a packed auditorium. After greeting the crowd in Hebrew, Arabic, and English, Arafat promised to do what he could to hold elections in the Gaza Strip in January. While protesters gathered outside, Arafat lamented the opposition he still faces despite recent progress in the peace process. It was his first speech at an American university. (Story, Page 1.)

Hillary Rodham Clinton telephoned confidant Susan Thomases just one minute before Ms. Thomases paged the White House chief lawyer for a controversial discussion the morning police were to search the late Vincent Foster's office, telephone records show. The White House released the records as the Senate Whitewater Committee met yesterday. The committee is trying to determine what role the two women and Mrs. Clinton's chief of staff, Margaret Williams, might have played in the White House decision to keep Foster's documents away from police.

''Official despots'' is what Judge Kenneth Hoyt called Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) supervisors Tuesday in Houston for sexually harassing and discriminating against a black female attorney, and extorting sexual favors from other women employees. Hoyt also ruled that the victim is entitled to monetary damages. In 1988 the agency settled sexual harassment cases with two other employees.

Sales of previously owned single-family homes rose in September for the fifth straight month to their highest level in nearly two years, the National Association of Realtors said yesterday. Low mortgage rates were cited for the 0.7 percent rise.

Congress refused to support a plan Tuesday by Senator Johnston to single out Nevada as the site for a nuclear waste dump. Johnston had proposed that work begin soon on an interim storage facility.

The World

Hundreds of Palestinians cheered as Israeli troops removed furniture from their police station in Jenin yesterday to start Israel's pullout from the West Bank. Israeli troops are set to withdraw from six towns this year. The PLO will officially take control in mid-November. As some Palestinians threw rocks and gas bombs at the departing troops, concern was high that militants may try to disrupt the withdrawal. Also, Israel cheered while Palestinians criticized the US Congress' passage of a bill to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. But President Clinton said Wednesday he would exercise the bill's option allowing him to postpone the move indefinitely. (Arafat, Pages 1 and 20; Mideast food crisis, Page 19.)

Bosnia's Izetbegovic, Croatia's Tudjman, and Serbia's Milosevic have accepted an invitation from Russian President Yeltsin to meet in Moscow Tuesday as Russia attempts to spur the peace process. Also, US Secretary of Defense William Perry and his Russian counterpart, Gen. Pavel Grachev, were to meet at the Pentagon today to work out the details of the troop deployment in Bosnia discussed by Clinton and Yeltsin Monday. Their task: reconciling the US call for ''unity of command'' with Yeltsin's demand that Russian troops not be placed under NATO command.

As polls showed Quebec separatists ahead, Canadian Prime Minister Chretien (above) abandoned his low-key tactics and was set to make a TV appeal for Canadian unity last night. Anti-separatists have been split over whether to constitutionally recognize Quebec as a distinct, French-speaking area - a move that could head off secession.

Guns in southeast Burma could fall silent for the first time in 47 years as early as next month. Talks between Burma's government and Karen Party guerrillas inched toward a conclusion, spokesmen for the guerrillas said yesterday. Some 70,000 Karen refugees live in makeshift camps in Thailand.

US troops accused of crimes in Japan would be turned over to Japanese police before an indictment was filed against them, according to a new agreement reached by the US and Japan yesterday. Legal protections enjoyed by US troops has raised the ire of many Japanese.

Italian Premier Dini faces a no-confidence vote today. He could lose his post if all deputies follow party leaders' calls to vote against him. Communist leader Fausto Bertinotti joined conservative ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi Tuesday in demanding Dini's resignation.

''Only one left,'' chime national TV ads in Colombia. The ads are reminding citizens of the $1 million price on the head of Helmer Herrera, the last Cali drug-cartel leader to remain at large. He has reportedly authorized his lawyers to broker a surrender. Separately, a joint Nicaraguan-US drug patrol seized a large drug boat in Nicaraguan waters Tuesday. The amount seized was not released.

South Korea's ruling party urged ex-President Roh Tae-woo to apologize and go into internal exile following a slush-fund scandal that has sparked national outrage, state radio said Wednesday.

Bristling at the Clinton-Jiang meeting in New York Tuesday, Taiwanese leaders yesterday stressed their nation's independence from China, which considers Taiwan a renegade province. During the talks, Clinton did not promise to disallow US visas for top Taiwanese leaders, but he did restate US policy that Taiwan is a part of ''one China.''

Drought, civil war, and poor harvests are creating food crises in 14 Sub-Saharan nations, the UN food agency said yesterday. Starvation deaths are already occurring in Sierra Leone, it said.

Etcetera

John Galliano was named British Designer of the Year Tuesday, even though he now shows his clothes in Paris. He also won the award in 1994 and 1987.

Scientists from more than 30 countries said in a report issued Tuesday that global warming will lead to a 2- to 6-degree F. rise in the average temperature and cause a sea-level rise of up to three feet by 2100.

College Philanthropists

The following are the top private scholarship funders for 1996. The dollar figure is the average grant given, followed by the number of scholarships granted.

1. National Merit Scholarship Corp.: $250-$10,000; 9,000

2. Air Force Aid Society: $1000; 4,000-5,000

3. United Negro College Fund: $500-$2,500; 1,500

4. National Achievement Scholarship Program for Outstanding Negro Students: $250-$2,000; 800

5. National Hispanic Scholarship Fund: $500-$1,000; 3,000

6. Wal-Mart Foundation: $1,000; 2,149

7. Elks National Foundation: $1,000-$5,000; 500

8. Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, Program in Public Policy and International Affairs: $15,000; 150

9. Marine Corps Scholarship: $500-$2,500; 900

10. American Chemical Society, Minority Scholars Program: $2,500-$5,000; 201

- ''Peterson's Paying Less For College, 1996''

'' Mr. Rabin ... is facing only one opposition, while I am facing four oppositions: I am facing systemic opposition, Arab opposition, Palestinian opposition, Christian opposition.''

- Yasser Arafat at Harvard University's Kennedy School Tuesday.

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