News In Brief

US Criticizes 'Trial' of Monitor Writer by Bosnian Serbs

Monitor journalist David Rohde had been jailed on trumped-up charges by a Bosnian Serb ''kangaroo court,'' US State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said in Washington Nov. 6.

Mr. Rohde, who entered Bosnian Serb territory Oct. 29 for reporting purposes, is serving a 15-day sentence for falsifying documents, according to UN officials who visited him Sunday in a prison in Bijeljina in northeastern Bosnia.

Mr. Burns said Rohde was not fully informed about the charges for five days, had no access to lawyers or to the United States government, and had no proper trial. ''He was simply informed of these charges, told he was guilty, and told he was going to be incarcerated,'' the spokesman said.

''The way that the Bosnian Serbs have handled the case of Mr. Rohde has been utterly irresponsible,'' Burns told a news briefing. ''We reject the charges against Mr. Rohde.''

The US diplomat who visited Rohde, Walter Andrusyszyn, found him in relatively good health, but failed to persuade the Bosnian Serbs to release him. US Assistant Secretary of State John Shattuck is expected to raise Rohde's case among other matters on trip to the former Yugoslavia this week.

Some members of Rohde's family and a Monitor representative remain in Dayton, Ohio, to press his case with US and Bosnian Serb officials at the Bosnia peace talks.

Rohde, based in Zagreb, Croatia, has written about Bosnia for the Monitor since November 1994.

The US

Voters nationwide punched voting cards and pulled booth levers in hundreds of state and local elections yesterday. In Maine, voters tackled the issue of whether to legalize gambling and an anti-gay rights measure. (Above, an opponent of the anti-gay-rights plan.) And San Franciscans' choices for mayor were a former police officer, the flamboyant former speaker of the California Assembly, and a lesbian. Many races had national overtones, and GOP wins were seen as a proxy plus for Speaker Gingrich's Republican revolution. Virginians were to decide if they put the GOP in control of a southern legislature for the first time in decades. And the once-favorite Mississippi GOP Gov. Kirk Fordice was in a close heat with Democratic rival Dick Molpus.

Senate debate over the plan to outlaw ''partial birth'' abortions yesterday was set to be more heated than in the House last week, where it passed 288 to 139. Advocates of the ban say the rare procedure is a particularly offensive one. Opponents see the ban as the first step to outlawing all forms of abortions.

The Treasury Department postponed $31.5 billion in scheduled auctions yesterday, citing the rapidly approaching debt ceiling. But the House Ways and Means Committee was set to counter Treasury's move by passing a measure to extend borrowing ability until mid-December, but with tough restrictions. The bill would deny Clinton the power to free up needed cash if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling, thereby making the limit more concrete and ominous.

Some 50 million Americans are breathing cleaner air than they were five years ago, the EPA said Monday. While 91 regions with 140 million people had poor air quality five years ago, today just 33 regions have such problems. Despite improvements, nine cities - from Sacramento and Ventura, Calif., to Houston to Baltimore to New York - still have ''severe'' air pollution.

An agreement on the ground rules of Balkan peace is expected from talks in Dayton after Croatian President Tudjman rejoins Presidents Izetbegovich of Bosnia and Milosevic of Serbia tomorrow or Friday. This according to Izetbegovic's report to his cabinet Monday. The US State Department, meanwhile, said the parties have forged an ambitious draft that ''we hope will produce a quantum leap.'' The toughest sticking point: convincing Milosevic to sack Bosnian Serb leaders Karadzic and General Mladic. Also, a US-sponsored UN Security Council resolution expected to be passed this week calls on the Bosnian Serbs to open the cities where mass killings allegedly occurred.

Former Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen was set to defend his decision to give copies of confidential testimony to the White House during an ongoing ethics probe of the Clintons' Whitewater investment. Republicans say Bentsen was helping the White House avoid criticism by getting its story straight before congressional hearings. The White House says the move was innocuous preparation for testimony. Hearings continue through tomorrow.

PBS and Reader's Digest said Monday they will team up to produce shows focusing on children, family, entertainment, and education programs. They hope to make profits by marketing spinoff items like toys and computer games. PBS is attempting to compensate for government cuts in its funding.

The World

In an attempt to pump life into a flagging presidency after only six months in office, France's Jacques Chirac ordered a Cabinet shakeup yesterday and appointed a new one led by Prime Minister Alain Juppe. The move took place on the eve of a major parliamentary debate on severe budget cuts.

Israel resumed troop withdrawals in the West Bank yesterday after assuring Palestinians the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Rabin had not killed the peace process. Egyptian President Mubarak met with PLO leader Arafat in Cairo to discuss prospects for the peace process. And police said they would question Jewish extremists who publicly praised the killing. (Story, Page 1; Editorial, Page 20.)

In a Japanese court yesterday, an American sailor admitted raping a Okinawa girl, and two Marines said they helped plot the attack. The case has strained US-Japan ties and touched off mass protest on the island to US troop presence. Policemen had to shield the servicemen (above) walking to the courthouse.

Some of South Korea's wealthiest business tycoons were summoned to talk with government prosecutors today in connection with President Roh Tae-Woo's $654 million slush fund. Summoning Hyundai's founders and Samsung's chairmen, among others, doesn't indicate suspicion of criminal involvement, prosecutors said.

The leaders of the G-15 group of developing countries, meeting in Buenos Aires Monday called on southern nations to join forces to capture the attention and capital of the industrialized world. Also, bomb experts Monday began removing explosives from a destroyed munitions plant in Rio Tercero, three days after blasts ripped through the factory and killed 13 people.

Rwandan soldiers attacked extremist Hutu militiamen Monday as they trained on an island in northwest Rwanda, killing an unknown number, a government official said.

Ivory Coast President Henri Konan Bedie and a main opposition party agreed yesterday to put electoral violence, which has killed at least 33 people, behind them and hold elections Nov. 26.

Britain's House of Commons voted Monday to force legislators to declare outside earnings. It was a blow to Prime Minister Major, whose Conservative Party opposed requirements that lawmakers declare how much they make on the side from work secured through Parliament membership Several scandals led to the vote.

Claudette Werleigh became Haiti's first woman premier Monday when legislators approved her selection. They also OK'd debate on a contentious project that would sell state enterprises. The move will likely delay economic reforms and jeopardize some $310 million in foreign aid tied to reform.

Some 233 passengers and a crew evacuated a Royal Jordanian airliner after it made an emergency landing in Vienna yesterday, and police searched the aircraft for a bomb.

A break-in at the Canadian prime minister's home Sunday has prompted review of his security. The knife-wielding man, who has been charged with attempted murder, got to the bedroom door before the prime minister's wife locked it and called police.

Etcetera

A colossal collision of supercontinents occurred 650 million years ago in northern Sudan, scientists said Monday. On the surface, there's just desert, but radar images from the space shuttle show evidence of a smashup - a subsurface region of extensive folds and a large underground fault line.

''Tokyo DisneySea'' is the Walt Disney Company's name for a new Tokyo theme park to be opened in 2000. Likely to cost $1 billion, the park will include an American waterfront and a Mediterranean harbor.

College Politics

Students at each of more than 300 colleges were asked to describe their campus's political leaning. The following are the extremes.

Students most nostalgic for Ronald Reagan:

1. Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah)

2. Grove City College (Grove City, Pa.)

3. Baylor University (Waco, Texas)

4. Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas)

5. Hampden-Sydney College (Hampden-Sydney, Va.)

Students most nostalgic for Eugene V. Debs:

1. Eugene Lang College (New York City)

2. Hampshire College (Amherst, Mass.)

3. Goddard College (Plainfield, Vt.)

4. Reed College (Portland, Ore.)

5. San Francisco Art Institute

- ''The Princeton Review Student Access Guide to The Best 309 Colleges,'' 1996

'' Art, Art, Art!''

- Ecstatic Baltimore fans chanting Cleveland Brown's owner Art Modell's name as he announced

Monday that the NFL team would soon become the Baltimore Browns.

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