News In Brief

THE US

With Iowans going to the polls today, candidates made their final push for votes. Republican front-runner Sen. Bob Dole and commentator Pat Buchanan denied staging anonymous phone calls to voters about publisher Steve Forbes's more-liberal stance on social issues. As his poll numbers slipped, Forbes accused Dole, Buchanan, and the Christian Coalition of distorting his record. Meanwhile, President Clinton criss-crossed the state this weekend, reminding Iowans of the aid he provided after the 1993 floods and saying Republicans' ideas of small government doesn't work so well in emergencies.

Federal investigators probing a commuter train collision in New Jersey are focusing on human error.

Some areas of Oregon remain under six feet of water, prohibiting both cleanup and assessment of how much damage was done by flooding. Federal disaster officials began doling out $11 million in aid to residents in the 30 counties Clinton declared disaster areas. Sunny skies and dry weather are predicted this week.

In signing the $265 billion defense bill, Clinton said he would fight a "blatantly discriminatory" provision that forces the discharge of service members diagnosed as HIV-positive. A bill to repeal that measure is set to be introduced in the House this week. Also, all armed forces personnel will get a 2.4 percent pay raise under the bill.

Fed chairman Alan Greenspan is about to be renominated for a third six-year term. Anonymous White House sources said Clinton is close to making his decision public. Greenspan's second term expires on March 2.

Teachers in San Diego, Calif., accepted a new contract with a 14.7 percent pay raise over three years. The 7,500 teachers, who returned to work after a week on strike, had not had a raise in five years. The new average salary will be $43,000.

Immigrant children outperform their US-born peers until they begin to adopt American customs, a Harvard study finds. Upon arrival, they often spend more time on homework and less watching TV, but "the commitment to hard work that immigrants bring erodes over time" in the US, the report says. Researchers studied 5,000 immigrants in Florida and California.

Walt Disney Co. became the world's largest media firm, after its $19 billion buyout of Capital Cities/ABC was approved by federal regulators. But it will likely soon be eclipsed by Time Warner Inc.'s planned acquisition of Turner Broadcasting System Inc.

The US will send $13 million to Haiti even though it hasn't made sufficient progress in investigating murders of opponents of former President Aristide. The administration is invoking a provision in the Haiti aid bill that allows money to be sent despite lack of progress on the probes only if it expedites the removal of US troops, which are scheduled to withdraw by April 15.

Clinton won't order more B-2 stealth bombers. He had considered buying 20 more of the radar-evading planes for $30 billion, but decided not to because of budget pressures. Several states, including California, hoped for the additional purchase. California says the B-2 program provides 25,000 jobs.

Philip Morris Co. sent a 5,000-page protest to the workplace-regulating agency OSHA. Rules being considered at OSHA would require employers to ban smoking in the workplace or provide separately ventilated - and expensive - smoking lounges. OSHA says secondhand smoke is harmful to co-workers. A decision is likely in two years.

Scientists in White Sands, N.M., used a laser to shoot down an armed, short-range rocket of the type used by many guerrillas, such as those in Afghanistan and Lebanon. It was the first successful land-based shoot-down and used a laser that's invisible to human sight. Battlefield use of the system is several years away.

THE WORLD

All Bosnian factions must comply with the Dayton accord, US envoy Richard Holbrooke insisted in Sarajevo. Earlier, Bosnian Serb civilian leaders announced they are restoring ties with NATO and will ask their military command to do the same. Ties were severed after the Muslim-led Bosnian government detained two Bosnian Serb military officers as war crimes suspects. The Bosnian government said it won't release the suspects even if the peace process is jeopardized. Above, a Bosnian woman presents her case to Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic. Her two sons and husband have been missing since rebel Serbs overran the Muslim enclave of Srebrencia.

British and Irish leaders tried to keep the Northern Ireland peace process afloat after a bomb blast in London Friday night ended the IRA's 17-month cease-fire. The attack devastated much of London's financial district, killing two people and injuring dozens. Sinn Fein, the political wing of the IRA, said it had no warning of the attack, and its influence on the IRA remains in question. Political leaders close to Protestant "loyalist" paramilitary groups say they will maintain their own cease-fire.

The Algerian government blamed Muslim militants for two car bombs in Algiers that killed 14 people and wounded 71. Militants, seeking to install strict Islamic rule have waged a guerrilla campaign since 1992, when the government cancelled municipal elections that the Islamic Salvation Front was poised to win.

About 95 percent of voters in Kyrgyzstan agreed to broaden the powers of President Askar Akayev, preliminary results showed. The referendum seeks to give Akayev the authority to dissolve parliament at will and appoint ministers, diplomats, and local judges without parliamentary approval.

Chechen protesters ended a tense, week-long stand-off with Russian troops in the Chechen capital. The demonstrators were demanding the withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya. The pro-Moscow regional government said a compromise was reached with the protesters, but did not disclose the details.

Three Cuban political prisoners were escorted to Miami by Rep. Bill Richardson, a Democrat from New Mexico who secured their release following talks with Cuban leader Fidel Castro. All three were imprisoned in 1992 on charges of anti-government activities. The US welcomed the move and said all political detainees must be freed.

A Libyan military court reportedly sentenced 12 officers to death for attempting to topple Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi. Police arrested the officers along with dozens of others near Tripoli in 1993 shortly before they were to carry out the coup.

Two powerful Chinese governors were reportedly assigned lesser jobs, a move seen as an attempt by Communist Party chief Jiang Zemin to shore up his power base. Jiang appears to be positioning himself to succeed Deng Xiaoping, analysts said. More replacements are expected before the 1997 party congress.

Japanese rescue workers failed to dynamite a giant boulder that collapsed a road tunnel on Japan's northern-most island of Hokkaido. They hope a second blast will free 20 people trapped in the tunnel since Saturday morning.

The Venerable Judith Rose became the first woman to be ordained as an archdeacon, two years after the Anglican Church permitted women to become priests. She will be in charge of legal affairs. The ordination of women has split the church. Several dozen clergy quit in protest.

Defying US warnings, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan traveled to Iran to attend celebrations marking the 1979 Islamic revolution. It was his third visit to an Arab country at odds with the US. He predicted Muslim fundamentalist leaders would prevail over the West.

ETCETERA

Maybe we ought to change the name from V-chip to parent-power chip."

- President Clinton, promoting the device that allows parents to block TV programs they don't want their children to watch. Its success depends on the TV industry's willingness to rate programs for content.

In the battle between mankind and computer, the computer has won a round - at chess. World champion Garry Kasparov lost to Deep Blue, an IBM computer that can sort through 200 million possible moves in a second. It was the first in a six-game match being played in Philadelphia.

Pop music star Michael Jackson and director Spike Lee began filming a video in Brazil for the song "They Don't Care About Us." They plan to shoot the video in a Rio de Janeiro slum, despite Brazil's attempts to stop them from filming poverty in the city.

Entrepreneur Malcolm Bricklin recruited Sanyo North America Corp. to build electric bicycles he hopes to sell through car dealers across the US. Prices will be $1,400 to $1,900.

"America's Smithsonian," an $8 million, 336-artifact tour to mark the 150th anniversary of the Smithsonian Institution, has opened in Los Angeles. Visitors will see objects from all 16 Smithsonian museums and galleries, and the National Zoo.

Valentine's Sweet Treats You might have more success wooing a Valentine with a bag of M&M's than a box of chocolates. (These 1993 top candy brand sales figures are for grocery stores only.)

1. M&M's $185,881,472

2. Brach's 181,870,852

3. Hershey 169,958,497

4. Reese's 152,339,870

5. Snickers 122,144,324

6. Hershey Kisses 119,178,840

7. Kit Kat 61,144,354

8. Butterfinger 51,361,624

9. Milky Way 48,005,216

10. Lifesavers 46,340,416

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

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