News In Brief
Ending weeks of speculation, Massachusetts GOP Gov. William Weld said he will challenge Sen. John Kerry, the incumbent Democrat, for his US Senate seat. The race will be one of the most important 1996 Senate contests. Weld, an ardent tax cutter and welfare reformer, is prominently aligned with the GOP revolution in Washington. He trails Kerry in most polls.
''Think M*A*S*H and you've got what you're looking at,'' said an Army spokesman, referring to the long-running TV show and describing the living conditions for US troops in Bosnia. Most will spend the winter months in double-layer tents heated by diesel-fueled stoves. And nearly 17,000 troops will support the 20,000 soldiers on the ground. They include pilots patrolling the skies, marines poised to conduct rescue missions, and supply crews. The first US contingent - about 700 troops - will arrive in several days. (Story, Page 1; Editorial, Page 20.)
Balanced-budget talks between the White House and congressional leaders yielded little more than agreement to meet every day this week, including Saturday. And at a Monitor breakfast, Senator Dodd, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said that if the Republican-led Congress refuses to compromise on its 1996 budget proposal, the White House may have no other choice but to seek temporary spending bills - so-called continuing resolutions - through next year. And ''If there is no budget deal,'' he said, the 1996 presidential and congressional race ''is history -- the president is reelected, and the Democrats are running Congress.'' The GOP will give voters ''the impression that you don't care about me ... while the president is fighting for middle America.''
''It's our family's hour,'' exulted Jesse Jackson Sr. as his son, Jesse Jackson Jr., won a Democratic primary in Chicago. The win nearly guarantees the junior Jackson the US House seat Mel Reynolds gave up after his conviction on charges of sexual misconduct. Jackson is favored over Republican Thomas Somer in a Dec. 12 special election.
California voters recalled a renegade Republican: Former Assembly Speaker Doris Allen was accused by fellow party members of being a puppet of former Democratic Assembly Speaker Willie Brown. Orange County voters replaced her with political newcomer Scott Baugh.
A lobby-reform bill is nearing President Clinton's desk. After failing about 10 times in the last 50 years, the House was set to pass a bill to require all lobbyists to officially register and identify their clients. Supporters expected passage as early as last night. Official records now show 6,500 lobbyists; there may actually be 10 times that many.
Ford will begin equipping its vehicles with air bags designed to cushion drivers and front-seat passengers from inside-impact crashes. The devices will begin appearing in about two years. Meanwhile, Chrysler is recalling 20,000 1996 Dodge and Plymouth minivans to replace bolts that could fail and allow seats to come loose in a crash.
Clinton lifted a 22-year export ban on Alaska North Slope oil. The bill he signed allows shipment overseas of as much as one-fourth of the petroleum produced in the US. The ban was imposed in 1973 during the OPEC oil embargo.
A tax on frequent flyer miles? When a Wall Street Journal story said the IRS planned to subject business travelers' prized mile hordes to the tax-man, the outcry was vociferous. The policy would have taxed travelers' personal use of miles gained in company flights. The IRS backpedaled, saying it had no plans to go through with the tax.
Addressing the British Parliament, President Clinton endorsed a new Anglo-Irish drive for peace in Northern Ireland and praised the leaders for their boldness. In an unexpected move, Britain and Ireland agreed to set aside their disagreement over disarming the Irish Republican Army and set a date for all-party talks in Northern Ireland. Also, British Prime Minister John Major said Britain will contribute 13,000 soldiers to the NATO peacekeeping force in Bosnia.
China rolled out the red carpet for Cuban President Fidel Castro. His nine-day state visit is intended to boost trade with China while highlighting solidarity among the few remaining Communist countries. Castro hopes to study China's experience in opening its economy to foreign trade and investment, his aides said. Also, China selected a Tibetan ''soul boy'' as the reincarnation of the late Panchen Lama, challenging the exiled Dalai Lama's pick for the second-holiest figure in Tibetan Buddhism.
The obstacles preventing the participation of 2,000 Russian soldiers in the NATO-led Bosnia peace mission have been cleared. US Defense Secretary William Perry said he and his Russian counterpart, Gen. Pavel Grachev, agreed in principle to create a ''NATO-Russia consultative commission'' that would discuss political aspects of the Bosnia operation. Separately, Serbian President Milosevic fired five nationalist hardliners from the ruling Socialist Party. He has publicly forsaken nationalism to make peace and win the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.
Accusations of vote-rigging, the arrest of hundreds of Islamists, and violence, overshadowed Egypt's parliamentary elections. Opposition parties said that most of the arrested were poll-watchers who intended to ensure voting fairness. President Hosni Mubarak's National Democratic Party is likely to win two-thirds of the 444 seats in the People's Assembly, analysts said.
Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's party withdrew support for talks aimed at drafting a new constitution because the ''process was undemocratic.'' Instead, the Nobel Peace laureate demanded that the military start a dialogue with democratic groups. In 1990 Suu Kyi's party won 90 percent of the vote in the general election, but the military refused to step down and placed her under house arrest for nearly six years.
Okinawan police are investigating allegations of rape by an American. The new charges come two months after the rape of a schoolgirl by US servicemen set off a string of protests against the US military presence. Police say the woman in the new case is not likely to press charges.
South Korean business tycoon Chung Tae Soo was arrested on charges of helping former President Roh Tae Woo launder his secret slush fund. And 800 students clashed with riot police in Kwangju demanding punishment for those responsible for a 1980 massacre by the Army. (Story, Page 5.)
An Israeli military commander expressed doubt that massive retaliation would deter further Hizbullah guerrilla rocket attacks from Lebanon. Maj. Gen. Amiram Levine's comments came a day after the fiercest Katyusha rocket attacks in months wounded several Israelis in Galilee and sent thousands rushing to bomb shelters.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu will head a new Truth Commission considered crucial to racial reconciliation in South Africa. The 17-member panel will gather evidence of apartheid-era crimes committed by government security forces and anti-apartheid groups such as President Nelson Mandela's ANC.
NASA plans to gather dust in space starting in 1999. The space vehicle ''Stardust'' will be sent to within 62 miles of the comet ''Wild-Two'' to capture particles floating in its wake.
Vice President Gore was billed $8,365 by the Walt Disney Co. for ''Beauty and the Beast'' Halloween costumes for him and his wife, Tipper. The Democratic Party will pay the bill. The outfits were originally free, but second thoughts intervened.
They Just Can't Drive 55
President Clinton signed a bill to abolish federal speed limits. The following states are considering raising their speed limits, though many are just in the planning stages. Most other states are not planning to up their limits soon. (See also US In Brief.)
Alabama: 75 m.p.h. on interstates; 65 on county roads.
Arizona: 75 m.p.h. on rural roads.
California: 70 m.p.h. on interstates; 65 m.p.h. on highways.
Colorado: 75 m.p.h.
Kansas: 75 m.p.h. on interstates; 65 m.p.h. on two-lane highways.
Michigan: 75 m.p.h. on rural highways; 65 m.p.h. on urban highways.
Missouri: 70 m.p.h. on divided four-lane highways; 65 m.p.h. on undivided highways.
Montana: An unspecified ''reasonable and prudent'' speed in the daytime; 65 m.p.h. at night.
Nebraska: 70 m.p.h. or 75 m.p.h. on rural interstates.
Nevada: 75 m.p.h.
New Mexico: 75 m.p.h.
Oklahoma: 70 m.p.h. on divided four-lane interstates.
Oregon: 75 m.p.h.
Texas: 70 m.p.h.
Utah: 70 m.p.h.
Washington: 70 m.p.h.
Wyoming: 75 m.p.h. on interstates; 65 m.p.h. on other roads.
- Associated Press
'' Peace hath her victories,
no less renowned than war.''
- President Clinton quoting English Poet John Milton in his address to the British Parliment yesterday.
In ''Teachers' Pay: More Than Just Apples?'' on Nov. 27, the fourth lowest-paying state ($26,818) should have been Mississippi.