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News In Brief

By CompiledSuman BandrapelliAbraham T. McLaughlin, and Peter Nordahl. / January 29, 1996


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The bill that President Clinton signed to avert a third government shutdown cuts EPA funding but restores foreign aid to 1996 levels and increases Pell college-tuition grants. And with the debt ceiling now Washington's most pressing fiscal issue, Clinton told Republicans to "stop playing politics with America's good name." The rating for US bonds could be downgraded if a debt default occurs. The GOP wants more of its agenda passed before it increases the debt limit.

With Dallas heavily favored to beat Pittsburgh in the Superbowl, much attention was on the ads the game's estimated 125 million viewers would see. Each second of air time cost $40,000. Also, gambling was a big part of the Superbowl. An estimated $4 billion was bet on the game.

An F-16 flyover at the Superbowl was just one of many events commemorating shuttle Challenger's explosion 10 years ago. The Superbowl flyover was led by pilot Rich Scobee, who is the son of Challenger's commander, Dick Scobee.

Hillary Rodham Clinton said the questions asked of her in front of a grand jury focused mostly on the appearance of her law firm's billing records in a White House office. She is "mystified" as to how they were found. It's unclear whether she will be called to testify again. And a Newsweek poll finds Mrs. Clinton less popular than her husband - a first in US politics. Her approval rating is 42 percent; his is above 50 percent.

A 30,000-member gang with annual revenues of $100 million goes on trial in Chicago today on drug conspiracy charges. Gangster Disciples operates like a corporation - with a board of directors and a chairman who runs the gang from prison.

Apple Computer apparently won't be bought by Sun Microsystems. But Sony is reportedly interested. Sony wants to enter the personal computer market, knows the consumer retail business, and values innovation - all of which present a good rationale for an Apple buyout.

Rep. Enid Waldholtz says she has uncovered new evidence of check forgery and other fraud by her estranged husband, Joseph. A federal grand jury is probing allegations that he engaged in a $1.7 million check-kiting scheme and lied to election authorities.

The barge that ran aground off Rhode Island a week ago was freed and towed out to sea. It had leaked 828,000 gallons of heating oil near a wildlife refuge. Cleanup efforts continue.

Jeffrey Wigand, the former Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corp. executive, says the company's CEO lied to Congress under oath in 1994, saying he didn't think nicotine was addictive. A company spokesman said Wigand is "a master of deceit." Wigand's charge comes in a confidential deposition printed Friday by The Wall Street Journal.

University of California regents called for a job review of UC President Richard Atkinson. The extraordinary move comes after Atkinson announced a one-year delay in implementing the regents' order to do away with affirmative-action programs. The regents meet Wednesday to take action on the review.

The Justice Department plans to question Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan as to whether he has become an agent of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. A US law requires all "foreign agents" to register as such. Libya's news agency said the two agreed to "mobilize the oppressed minorities" in the US for the 1996 elections.

Millionaire John du Pont is holed up in his Philadelphia home. He allegedly shot and killed Olympic wrestler Dave Schultz on Friday and then retreated into the home. Police will wait until he gives up rather than force a confrontation.

Former US Sen. Ralph Yarborough of Texas, who died Saturday in Austin, was in the motorcade in Dallas when President Kennedy was assassinated. He went on to become a key ally of President Johnson and was the only senator from the South to vote for the landmark 1964 civil rights bill Johnson championed.


Croats and Muslims released about 380 prisoners, and the Bosnian Serbs responded by releasing 74, the Red Cross said. It was a significant exchange of prisoners, which is already a week behind schedule as laid down in the Dayton accord. Also, US Army Lt. Shawn Watts was grazed by sniper fire outside a NATO office in a Serb-held Sarajevo suburb.

France's sixth nuclear test triggered a new wave of outrage in Asia and the South Pacific. French President Jacques Chirac, who previously indicated that the sixth blast might be the last, left the option open for a seventh test, saying the blasts will be completed by the end of February. The test conducted at the Fangataufa Atoll in the South Pacific is the most powerful so far.