News In Brief

UNITED STATES

Who is your Congressman? Two-thirds of Americans surveyed didn't know. And half didn't know whether their representative was a Republican or Democrat. The wide-ranging poll by The Washington Post, Harvard University, and the Kaiser Family Foundation found many US citizens can't name some of the nation's most important leaders. Also found: Americans who distrust other people are less likely to trust the government and less likely to vote.

President Clinton planned to announce yesterday a national campaign to cut teen births by a third within 10 years. And he was to formally receive an Interagency Committee on Women's Business Enterprise study showing that women own one-third of the nation's domestic businesses and are a major force in the US economy. From 1987 to 1992, sales and receipts of such companies increased 131 percent.

Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin is expected to meet with Clinton and House speaker Gingrich in Washington today for economic and technological cooperation talks. Western leaders are concerned Moscow may be shying away from market reforms. Chernomyrdin also expects to meet with the IMF to discuss a $9 billion credit line that, some reports claim, is on shaky ground.

Clinton phoned the Dallas Cowboys to sing praises on their Super Bowl win. In football, as in politics, it helps to be "in the right place at the right time," he told Larry Brown, voted the game's most valuable player. He also made a consolation call to the Steelers. Members of the "Football Widows," a support group for wives of football fanatics, join a 15-year-old tradition of celebrating the season's end by deflating a football.

Eccentric millionaire John du Pont was arrested on his estate after a 48-hour siege and placed in solitary confinement at the Newtown Square, Pa., jail. The du Pont chemical fortune heir was charged with killing Olympic wrestling gold medalist Dave Schultz, who lived on the estate and ran a wrestling training facility there.

Viewers may be able to catch a glimpse of basketball great Magic Johnson on the court. He reportedly has signed a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers and could play against the Golden State Warriors tonight.

Delta Air Lines Inc. and its pilots' union met in talks amid heightened concerns that an impasse would derail the airline's $2 billion cost-cutting program. The two sides also were to meet yesterday before the National Mediation Board in Washington. Leaders of the Air Line Pilots Association said they are ready to strike if negotiations break down.

The Federal Aviation Administration has spent at least $500 million for an air-traffic-control system that is outdated and still incomplete after 15 years, according to The New York Times. President Reagan promised to modernize the system in 1981 after firing 11,000 striking air-traffic controllers. No accidents have been blamed on the old system, but flights have been delayed. Such problems reportedly cost the airlines $5 billion a year.

The Episcopal Diocese of Newark, N.J., has deemed suicide and assisted suicide morally acceptable for those diagnosed as terminally ill or in constant pain. Departing from centuries of Christian doctrine, a majority of the 200 delegates to the diocese's annual convention voted to adopt the resolution. Meanwhile, in Pontiac, Mich., sheriff's officials are linking a newly discovered body to suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian. The doctor has been present during 26 suicides since 1990.

A key hearing in the Oklahoma City bombing case begins today as the defense and prosecution argue over where the trial of the suspected bombers will be held. Attorneys for Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh say a fair trial is not possible in Oklahoma.

Omni and Longevity magazines reportedly have ceased publication. Higher postal and paper costs left the magazines "only marginally profitable," reports said. Omni covered science fact and fiction; Longevity dealt with health issues.

THE WORLD

Three British soldiers were killed when their armored personnel carrier hit a land mine in Bosnia. And in a separate road accident, a Swedish soldier was killed. Also, Serbia approved a draft treaty recognizing Macedonia, a former Yugoslav republic. And the Red Cross disagreed with claims made by Bosnian factions that all prisoners were released. But three Bosnian Muslims - a child born in a Serb prison, and his parents who met in prison- were released.

Prosecutors demanded 10-year prison terms, with forced labor, for three US servicemen accused of raping an Okinawa schoolgirl. Final arguments were made, and a verdict is due March 7. In Japan, 99 percent of criminal cases that make it to trial result in convictions. Also, Japan's Sumitomo Bank said it will buy $3 billion worth of Daiwa Bank's US assets. Daiwa was told to close its US operations by Friday, for unauthorized bond dealing.

Gunmen killed eight people and wounded 23 in Johannesburg. The incident occurred when seven men cut into the first row of quarter-mile-long line of job-seekers, drawing strong protests from the crowd. And the seven opened fire randomly into the line. Unemployment is estimated at 40 percent or higher in South Africa.

Chechen rebels offered to swap 17 Russian policemen they are holding hostage for all separatist fighters captured by Russian troops. Talks last week between Russian officials and Chechen representatives on freeing the policemen ended inconclusively. Also, a nuclear security summit between G-7 industrialized nations and Russia will be held in Moscow April 18-19.

The Red Cross said the food crisis in North Korea is worsening. The aid agency said it will extend its program and supply 13,000 tons of food. And South Korea accused the North of starving its people by refusing to release military food reserves, which it said are enough to meet the shortage. Separately, Seoul prosecutors said three more Army generals will be arrested for their role in a 1979 coup.

Tamil rebels overran a Sri Lankan Army camp in the east, the military said. Some 13 soldiers were reportedly killed during the four-hour battle. Alleging widespread discrimination, the rebels are fighting for an independent homeland in the island's north and east.

Maria Teresa Arias - a woman accused of being the intermediary between Colombian President Samper and the Cali drug cartel - denied the charge, made earlier by Samper's campaign treasurer. Samper has been accused of soliciting drug money to fund his 1994 campaign.

Several crude bombs exploded during an antigovernment strike in Dhaka, Bangla-desh. The opposition has accused Premier Khaleda Zia of corruption and inefficiency and has threatened to disrupt Feb. 15 elections.

Yemeni tribesmen released 17 French tourists they held hostage for five days. The captors gave traditional antique gifts to their hostages and performed folk dances while their representatives negotiated with Yemeni officials for the release of a member of their tribe. Yemen threatened the tribal leaders with a military assault.

A nine-day-old cease-fire in Afghanistan ended as rockets rained on Kabul's rocket-ruined suburb of Karte Se. The government blamed the Taliban militia, mostly made up of religious students. Meanwhile, Tajik rebels based in Afghanistan stepped up their cross-border raids on some 25,000 Russian troops stationed in Tajikistan. The Russians are supporting the Tajik government.

Indonesia stepped up its military patrols to prevent rebels from fleeing with their 13 hostages from Irian Jaya to neighboring Papua New Guinea. The rebels in the former Dutch colony have been fighting for independence since 1969.

ETCETERAS

He adds so much.... He can play five positions.... With the nucleus we already have, it will make us the best team in the West."

- Los Angeles Laker guard Sedale Threatt, on the rumored return of Magic Johnson to the NBA tonight.

Nobel Prize winner Joseph Brodsky, who died in New York City, was a Russian exile who became poet laureate of the US. He wrote both in his native Russian and in English. In addition to poetry, he wrote plays, essays, and criticism.

For the first time in its 151-year history, Baylor University in Waco, Texas, - the nation's largest Baptist university - will officially allow dancing this spring.

A four-year-old American boy is being groomed as leader of a 38-monk Buddhist monastery in Nepal. The boy, whose name at birth was Sonam Wangdu, is called Trulku-la, and is recognized by Tibetan Buddhists as the reincarnation of a high lama who died in Seattle in 1987.

A Canadian environmental firm is seeking to turn rubbish in a Chinese provincial capital into a profitable power plant. Environmental Technologies Inc. plans to invest $2.5 million to set up a 6,000-kilowatt plant fueled by the methane generated by the city dump in Hangzhou.

The mayor of Bogota, Colombia, and his fiancee were wed surrounded by seven Bengal tigers in the middle of a circus tent. Antanas Mockus and Adriana Cordoba rode to the event atop an elephant.

Biggest Winners of Football's Biggest Game

The Cowboys' Super Bowl win ties them with San Francisco for most Super Bowl victories. But with three other appearances, Dallas is tops overall. Rankings based on 2 points for a Superbowl win, 1 point for a loss.

wins-losses

1. Dallas Cowboys 5-3

2. San Francisco 49ers 5-0

3. Pittsburgh Steelers 4-1

4. Washington Redskins 3-2

5. Miami Dolphins 2-3

5. Oakland/LA Raiders 3-1

7. Buffalo Bills 0-4

7. Denver Broncos 0-4

7. Green Bay Packers 2-0

7. Minnesota Vikings 0-4

7. New York Giants 2-0

- "The Top 10 of Everything, 1996," published by Dorling Kindersley

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