News In Brief

The US

President Clinton vowed to veto yesterday a congressional Republican plan that would reopen the government and keep it open until Dec. 5. The GOP plan, which passed Wednesday, dropped the Medicare increase Clinton had objected to but kept the seven-year balanced-budget requirement. Clinton, who wants to balance the budget in nine or 10 years, said the US should prepare for a long shutdown and that he was ready to stake his presidency on the issue. Clinton canceled his trip to Japan this weekend; he may also drop his trip to London, Dublin, and Belfast that starts Nov. 28. (Story, Page 1.)

Secretary of State Christopher was to try to give a final push at Bosnian peace talks in Ohio today after cutting short his Japan trip yesterday. Also, the US chided Croatia after its President Tudjman promoted a military officer who had just been indicted by the UN war-crimes tribunal.

Ross Perot said yesterday his upstart political party has enough signatures - at least 33,463 - to be on Ohio's ballot. Factory workers and college students were most receptive, he said. Perot's next target: Maine.

Treasury Secretary Rubin avoided national debt default by taking an unprecedented $61.3 billion out of two civil-service trust funds. The move enabled him to pay $25 billion in interest due Wednesday and will forestall default for the next few weeks.

In a rush to finish this year's budget, Congress sent Clinton a $23.2 billion Treasury Department and Postal Service bill and a $12.6 billion Transportation bill Wednesday. Clinton immediately signed the Transportation bill. An abortion logjam on the $243 billion defense bill was broken with a deal to bar abortions in overseas military hospitals except in cases of rape, incest, or the mother's life being in danger.

Senators Helms and Kerry were on the verge yesterday of resolving a dispute over reorganizing the nation's foreign-policy bureaucracy. A reported compromise would require the administration to come up with a plan within six months to save $1.7 billion in foreign-affairs spending over five years. If it does not, three independent agencies - the Agency for International Development (AID), the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (ACDA) and the US Information Agency (USIA) - would be eliminated. Any deal should clear the way for Mr. Helms's Senate Foreign Relations Committee to take action on 18 ambassadorial appointments and the START II strategic-arms treaty with Russia.

The Fed passed up a chance to cut interest rates Wednesday. Confronted by contradictory economic crosscurrents and a budget stalemate, the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee met for 4-1/2 hours Wednesday before making its decision.

Boeing Company and McDonnell Douglas Corp. are reportedly discussing a $35 billion merger that would create the world's largest aerospace-defense firm.

Television talk shows have turned into shock shows, says a study of nearly 200 programs. The Kaiser Family Foundation study counted an average of 16 ''personal disclosures'' per hour, a third about sex and a majority coming as a surprise to guests.

The Northern Ireland peace process is at a ''tremendously fragile stage'' and needs US help, Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said Wednesday after a White House meeting. Peace talks have stalled over the Irish Republican Army ''decommissioning'' - giving up - its weapons. Adams wants the US to push Britain and Ireland to negotiate. But Clinton could miss a chance for personal diplomacy if he cancels his planned Nov. 28 trip due to the budget crisis.

Fashion designer Calvin Klein faces further criticism over suggestive poses by young models. But the Justice Department decided Wednesday that no federal laws were violated by a series of ads for CK Jeanswear that appeared this past summer.

The Boston Police bomb squad Wednesday detonated what appeared to be an incendiary bomb in the security office of the Christian Science Publishing Society. The device burst into flames after police fired a water canon at it, but the fire was quickly extinguished and there was little damage to the office. No one was injured. Church spokesman Michael Born said the church received no warnings about the bomb. Local and federal authorities are investigating.

The World

South Korea's former president Roh Tae Woo (above, left) was driven to a detention center outside Seoul yesterday and locked into a 130-sq.-ft. cell with not much more than a mat on the floor. Roh's slush fund scandal also threatens to topple South Korean businessmen and other top politicians. Demonstrations in the last few weeks have demand harsh punishment for Roh. (Story, Page 9.)

An international tribunal yesterday indicted Bosnian Serb leader Karadzic and General Mladic for genocide in the Muslim enclave of Srebrenica. The men have already been charged with other war crimes against Bosnian Muslims and Croatians. (Story, Page 6.) Also, NATO is preparing for deployment in Bosnia by mid-December.

APEC trade officials meeting in Osaka, Japan, said yesterday they had agreed on major points for implementing a vast regional free-trade zone in the next century. The accord followed weeks of wrangling. One hurdle: China and the US compromised on the wording in a program of action. Commitment to practicing non-discrimination in trade will now read trying. Also, Vice President Gore will replace President Clinton at a weekend leaders' summit. (See also News In Brief.)

In its first white paper on disarmament, China said yesterday it is committed to peace, will station no troops on foreign soil, and has no plans to increase defense spending unless its security is threatened. The landmark paper appeared aimed at appeasing concerns in the region on China's claim to the Spratly islands.

Nigerian military leader General Sani Abacha accused foreign powers of interference over the hanging of nine minority rights activists, Nigerian newspapers said yesterday. The nine had been campaigning for compensation for the Ogoni tribe for oil produced there for decades by multinationals. Despite protest, Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell and its partners in a natural gas project decided Wednesday to construct a $4 billion natural gas plant in Nigeria. Also, the EU said Wednesday it would approve an arms embargo and other sanctions next week.

Algeria's military was out in droves during the country's first multiparty president elections yesterday since the National Liberation Front established one-party rule after winning independence from France in 1962. Islamic extremists threatened to disrupt the polls. The Islamic party complained Wednesday of roundups of its members and inflated voter rolls.

In Germany, left-leaning populist Oskar Lafontaine defeated Rudolf Scharping yesterday in a surprise bid for the Social Democratic Party leadership. The SPD, which has lost in four successive elections since 1982, faces record lows in opinion polls and is struggling to revitalize.

Philippine troops pounded Muslim rebel positions on southern Basilan island with rocket and mortar fire yesterday, ending a cease-fire and endangering crucial peace talks this month. Also, the toll from typhoon Angela continued to rise. At least 722 were killed, half a million homes wrecked, and $245 million in crops destroyed. About 160 people are still missing.

Mexican Government envoys and Zapatista guerrillas reached their first tentative accords Wednesday on indigenous rights during talks in the southern state of Chiapas. Meanwhile, Amnesty International alleged that Mexican security forces tortured and executed dozens of citizens this year, despite pledges by President Zedillo to improve Mexico's human rights.

In Haiti, Rene Preval, who ran President Aristide's government before his 1991 ouster, entered the presidential race Wednesday. He immediately became the early favorite to succeed Aristide, who is barred from running again by a two-term limit.

Etcetera

Philip Roth won his second National Book Award Wednesday for his novel ''Sabbath's Theater.'' He won his first 35 years ago for ''Goodbye Columbus.'' Tina Rosenberg's ''The Haunted Land: Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism'' was the nonfiction winner at ceremonies in New York City. Stanley Kunitz won the poetry award for his ''Passing Through: The Later Poems, New and Selected.'' And historian David McCullough received the National Book Foundation's annual Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Africa's northern white rhinoceros, native to Zaire and decimated by poachers, is on the edge of extinction, officials in Zaire said Wednesday. Less than 40 survive. Thirty are in Zaire's Garamba National Park. The rest are in captivity in the Czech Republic and California.

Crayons That Make Scents

Responding to concerns that children are popping food-scented crayons into their mouths, Crayola has given their products less-inviting smells.

Food Fun

Color Scent Scent

White Coconut Baby

Powder

Black Licorice Leather

Jacket

Gray none Smoke

Sepia Chocolate Dirt

Mahogany Cherry Cedar

Chest

Blue Blueberry New

Car

Periwinkle none Soap

Apricot Peach Lumber

Pink Bubble Shampoo

Gum

Sky Blue Fresh Fresh

Air Air

Yellow Lemon Daffodil

Orange Tulip Tulip

Red Rose Rose

Wisteria Grape Lilac

Jungle none Eucalyptus

Green

Pine Pine Pine

Green

Yellow Lime none

Green

Strawberry Strawberry none

Goldenrod Banana none

- Associated Press

'' I'm just absolutely amazed and flabbergasted that they can go ahead with this at this time.''

- Ken Wiwa, son of hanged Ken Saro-Wiwa, on Shell's decision to go ahead with its biggest Nigerian venture.

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