News In Brief

By , Abraham T. McLaughlin, Peter Nordahl

THE US

While the first US troops headed to Bosnia, senators continued to debate whether to back President Clinton's peacekeeping plan. As Clinton returned from his five-day European tour, he faced remaining questions, including: How and when US troops will exit the Balkans; and specifics of his plan to rearm and train Bosnian Muslim troops to create a balance to the Serbs military power when the US exits. Senator Dole is pressing for passage of his resolution of support for the plan by the end of the week. Also, after the Pentagon said the Bosnia mission will cost $2 billion, - including funds for "hazardous duty pay" - Clinton allowed the Defense appropriations bill to become law. He opposed the $243 billion measure earlier because the amount was higher than he requested.

Saying he wouldn't seek a fourth term, Wyoming's Senator Simpson recalled the words of his father, Milward Simpson, a former Wyoming governor and US senator: "Get out before they throw you out." And upon saying he will retire, five-term Senator Hatfield said, "Thirty years of voluntary separation from the state I love is enough." Also, Rep. Jimmy Hayes of Louisiana became the fourth Democrat to switch parties since the 1994 election, saying there is no longer room for conservatives in the Democratic Party.

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The $1 billion Soho satellite is floating toward a position 1 million miles from Earth from which it will observe the sun. It blasted off from Florida on Friday. The 1,400-pound probe will look deep inside the sun and study solar wind, which can disrupt radio communications and cause blackouts on Earth.

Some 41 percent of Iowa Republicans still put Bob Dole as their favorite for the 1996 GOP presidential nomination. But millionaire businessman Steve Forbes has pushed ahead of his rivals, capturing 12 percent of the support in the latest Des Moines Register poll. Senator Gramm took 9 percent, down significantly from his 18 percent September showing.

Emmanuel Constant, head of the now defunct rightist group, Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti, says he worked for the CIA for three years and that it never asked about his group's violent campaign against opponents of military rule. The CIA denies the claim.

Anyone who circulates pornography deemed "harmful to children" on the Internet would face criminal prosecution under a deal reportedly struck between Congress, civil liberties groups, and some commercial on-line services. The deal comes as Congress takes up a more restrictive plan that would impose jail terms and fines of up to $100,000 on those who knowingly transmit "filthy," "lewd," or "indecent" material. The compromise deal, reported by The New York Times, gives on-line services credit for attempting to keep sex material away from children.

General Motors agreed to recall 470,000 Cadillacs equipped with what the government called a "defeat device" that caused the cars to emit three times more carbon monoxide than the law allows. GM must pay an $11 million fine, repair the vehicles, and also spend $34 million on anti-pollution programs.

As the Dec. 15 deadline for a new budget agreement nears, the chairmen of the House and Senate budget committees said they weren't opposed to another shutdown. "In the House, we've not yet made up our minds," said Budget Committee chair John Kasich on NBC's Meet the Press. This dampened the expectations that Senator Dole raised by saying the debate would be over by Christmas.

The Senate Ethics Committee dismissed a complaint that Senate minority leader Daschle (D), at a friend's request, tried to reduce safety inspections of government-hired air-charter companies. Separately, an independent counsel exonerated several Bush administration aides who allegedly accessed then-candidate Bill Clinton's passport files to see if he had sought ways to renounce his citizenship while he was in college.

Hillary Rodham Clinton's $2,700 worth of legal work on a Little Rock, Ark., real estate property came under scrutiny in continuing Senate Whitewater hearings. The property was owned by the failed Madison Guaranty Savings & Loan. Chairman D'Amato says he will seek Mrs. Clinton's billing records to see if she benefited from the failed S&L.

THE WORLD

Up to 700 logistics, communications, and security specialists could begin setting up a NATO headquarters in Sarajevo today after President Clinton gave orders to send the first US troop contingent to Bosnia. The main body of troops is scheduled to arrive after the Dec. 14 peace treaty signing in Paris. Addressing US troops stationed in Germany, Clinton said they should strike "immediately and with decisive force" if threatened in Bosnia. And in his first public appearance in a month, the leader of the Bosnian Serb army, Gen. Ratko Mladic, blasted NATO troops that were poised to arrive last Saturday.

Clinton returned home after signing a transatlantic cooperation agreement with EU leaders in Madrid. It was the last stop on a tour of Europe with his wife, Hillary. The agreement is intended to revitalize cooperation on trade, peacekeeping, and crime fighting. He signed it after meeting with NATO's incoming secretary-general, Javier Solana - Spain's foreign minister.

South Korea placed its second ex-president behind bars in less than three weeks. Chun Doo Hwan was arrested for his role in a 1979 coup and a violent military crackdown that killed 200 people. The four-star general said he will fight the charges. Earlier, former President Roh Tae Woo was arrested in a slush-fund scandal.

Despite several disruptive incidents, Israel and the PLO agreed to proceed with the handover of West Bank cities to the Palestinians. Some 15 Palestinian policemen were deployed to Bethlehem Sunday and 25 to Nablus. And in a court appearance, Yitzhak Rabin's killer said he has information that would "turn the country upside down" and suggested one of the prime minister's bodyguards may have been involved in the plot.

The Egyptian militant group Al-Jihad is responsible for the suicide bombing of the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad, police in Pakistan said. Mohammed Ahmed, a member of the group, was identified in sketches by a Pakistani who apparently sold him a truck used in the bombing.

A senior Nationalist Party official is offering to resign, taking the blame for a ruling party election setback. Local party chief Lin Shih-hui did so after learning that just four of his party's 10 candidates in Taipei, Taiwan, were elected to the legislature. The New Party took 21 seats in the 164-member legislature. The Nationalists dropped 11 seats, to 85. The Democratic Progressives won 54 seats.

Canadian and Mexican justice officials are investigating the financial dealings of former Mexican President Salinas, according to two Mexican press reports. Mexican police found some $300 million in foreign bank accounts belonging to Salinas' brother.

The trial of three US servicemen charged in the rape of an Okinawa schoolgirl resumes today in Japan. Tensions over US troops stationed on the island still are high.

Former futures trader Nick Leeson was sentenced in Singapore to 6-1/2 years in jail on two charges of fraud. Leeson's disastrous derivatives dealings brought down Barings Bank under debts of $1.4 billion.

More than 4,000 peasants are refusing to evacuate an area threatened by a rumbling volcano despite the ash and sand raining down on Leon, Nicaragua. The last time Cerro Negro erupted, in 1992, many area residents returned to find homes looted and livestock stolen.

ETCETERA

Hooah!"

US soldiers in Germany responding with their traditional cheer to President Clinton's admonition for them to strike "immediately and with decisive force" if they are threatened with attack while in Bosnia.

Pete Sampras defeated Yevgeny Kafelnikov in straight sets yesterday to lead the US tennis team to the Davis Cup title over Russia in Moscow. It was Sampras' third victory of the weekend. The win gave the US an insurmountable 3-1 lead.

A man in Austin, Texas, accidentally donated a can of jewels to a food drive last month. Tom Cummins tossed in the little safe - disguised as a soup can - but didn't notice his error for a week. There's a $2,500 reward.

Sydney Poitier was one of five people honored at the Kennedy Center last night. Also recognized were Jacques D'Amboise, Marilyn Horne, B.B. King, and Neil Simon.

Covey of Senators Leave For New Nesting Grounds

1995 is proving to be the biggest retirement year for Senators since 1896, when 12 also gave up their seats. (See also US In Brief.) Other big retirement years: 1978 (4 Democrats, 5 Republicans); 1976: (4 Democrats, 4 Republicans).

Retiring Democrats:

Bill Bradley, N.J. (3 terms)

James Exon, Neb. (3 terms)

Howell Heflin, Ala. (3 terms)

Bennett Johnston, La. (4 terms)

Sam Nunn, Ga. (4 terms)

Claiborne Pell, R.I. (6 terms)

David Pryor, Ark. (3 terms)

Paul Simon, Ill. (2 terms)

Retiring Republicans:

Hank Brown, Colo. (1 term)

Nancy Kassebaum, Kan. (3 terms)

Mark Hatfield, Ore. (5 terms)

Alan Simpson, Wyo. (3 terms)

Resignations:

Bob Packwood, (R) Ore. (5 terms)

- Associated Press

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