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News In Brief

December 15, 1995

The US

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Washington budgeteers plan to swap fresh offers today with hopes of averting a new federal shutdown. If serious bargaining is under way, Congress likely will send Clinton a stopgap bill financing federal agencies. Some say a deal could be struck by Christmas. Bargaining was expected through the weekend. And a New York Times/CBS poll shows a 51 percent approval rating for Clinton - the highest since February 1994; House Republicans' popularity dropped.

Congress grudgingly accepted President Clinton's plan to deploy 20,000 US troops to Bosnia. The key Senate resolution, approved 69 to 30, noted the mission should last no longer than about a year and the US must help rearm the Bosnian government. But the House-passed measure stated the US must remain strictly neutral.

''This is not CNN in a copy. Its a whole new concept,'' said NBC News President Andy Lack, announcing a joint NBC-Microsoft cable news service called ''msNBC.'' It will be distributed initially to 15 million US homes through NBC's America's Talking'' cable network, which Microsoft will buy a 50-percent stake in for $220 million. The $400 million joint venture will include an interactive on-line component and will debut in 1996.

California Rep. Walter Tucker III announced that his wife will run for the US House seat he has resigned (above). Tucker was convicted last week of extorting $30,000 in bribes and cheating on his taxes while mayor of Compton in 1991 and 1992. He accused the jury of being racist.

Boeing Company workers are back on the job after voting to end a 69-day strike. The machinists' union won gains on job security, medical coverage, and pay. The company says the contract will not affect plans to subcontract for 52 percent of the components of Boeing planes (excluding engines), compared with 48 percent now.

The Senate Whitewater Committee received a last-minute proposal from the White House to turn over the notes from a 1993 meeting and let Senators question four presidential aides who attended the meeting. The committee immediately recessed to discuss the offer, though Chairman D'Amato gave it a cool reception. The Senate committee has considered asking the full Senate to enforce a subpoena to obtain the notes.

The FBI raided the California home of a railroad contractor, who was taken away for questioning in connection with the October sabotaging of an Amtrak passenger train in Arizona. Agents removed bags from the house: A warrant had sought large tools and documents linked to train derailments.

New Judge Richard Matsch, in his first hearing in the Oklahoma City bombing case, urged lawyers to streamline the pretrial process. Codefendants Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols sat 10 feet apart and ignored each other during the hearing.

Former Los Angeles police Sergeant Stacey Koon yesterday completed a two-year sentence for his role in the beating of Rodney King. A former colleague, Laurence Powell, ended his sentence the day before. Both were convicted of depriving King of his civil rights.

Navy Capt. Fred Dew, accused in Hawaii of sexual harassment, blamed the allegations on disgruntled employees bent on carrying out a vendetta against him. Last week, a senior admiral in Europe retired early after being demoted and censured for sexually harassing a subordinate with whom he had a year-long affair.

Communities should connect their schools to the Internet by 2000, a presidential panel recommended. It would cost about $11 billion to connect all public schools, the US Advisory Council on the National Information Infrastructure said.

The banking industry set another record. Banks showed $13.8 billion in earnings in the three months ending Sept. 30. And Japan's Sumitomo Bank Ltd. requested permission from US regulators to buy Daiwa Bank Ltd. after the banks agreed on the sale. If approved, the purchase would resolve a Federal Reserve order that Daiwa shut its US business after covering up $1.1 billion in trading losses.

The World

The signing of the Balkan peace accord has raised hope that Bosnia could spend its first peaceful Christmas since 1991, analysts said. US President Clinton and French President Chirac applauded the Balkan Presidents - Alija Izetbegovic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Slobodan Milosevic of Serbia, and Franjo Tudjman of Croatia - for signing the treaty to end Europe's most devastating conflict since World War II. The signing paves the way for the deployment of a 60,000-strong NATO peacekeeping force in Bosnia. (Story, Page 1.)