News In Brief

The US

Pat Buchanan attributed his narrow New Hampshire primary victory of 27 percent over Bob Dole's 26 percent to Dole's being out of touch with Americans. The economy and jobs were top voter concerns, one exit poll found. Lamar Alexander received 23 percent, Steve Forbes 12 , Dick Lugar 5, and Alan Keyes 3 percent of the vote. (Story, Page 1; Editorial, Page 20.)

The crash of two trains in Silver Spring, Md., last week has prompted new safety guidelines by the National Transportation Safety Board. Among the new requirements announced by Transportation Secretary Federico Pena (above): new speed limits and emergency exit checks. People trapped in the burning commuter train were unable to kick open one train's doors and windows, a report found. Also, a freight train derailed in Colorado, spilling hydrochloric acid on a highway and killed two crew members.

Ukraine President Leonid Kuchma arrived in the US for talks with President Clinton and other US officials amid reports his country is selling planes to Colombian drug traffickers. Government officials in Kiev denied the reports by The Los Angeles Times. Kuchma has won praise from Western leaders for his commitment to market reforms and his role in making Ukraine nuclear-free. He also is seeking $693 million in credit from the International Monetary Fund.

The economy is ''basically on track'' Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told the Senate Banking Committee. But he didn't rule out cutting interest rates once again to ensure sustained growth. He called January's performance was dismal.

Secretary of State Warren Christopher dismissed a report that the White House is considering limited sanctions on China because it supplied nuclear materials to Pakistan. Also, China is the biggest offender for pirating US computer entertainment software and video games, the Interactive Digital Software Association said. Piracy costs US companies $2.5 billion in potential sales last year, it said.

Sears Roebuck announced it is seeking a buyer for its 50 percent stake in Prodigy, the computer on-line service. Prodigy, the No. 3 service, is 50 percent owned by IBM. The move came a day after H&R Block announced it will sell CompuServe Inc., making it the second-biggest stand-alone on-line service business behind rival America Online. The news sent Block's stock up $2 to close at $41.87 on the New York Stock Exchange.

A government ban on smut on the Internet may be on hold. The American Civil Liberties Union said it made a tentative deal with government lawyers that would give cyberspace users temporary freedom from a new clampdown on racy transmissions. If accepted by the Justice Department, no one would be prosecuted under the Communications Decency Act before the ACLU's challenge goes to trial.

The Senate Finance Committee plans to hold hearing today on the governors' proposed welfare and Medicaid changes. The House Commerce Committee planned to scrutinize the Medicaid proposal. Congress will continue debating the plan when it returns from a recess.

Two Little Rock, Ark., bankers, Herby Branscum Jr. and Robert Hill, were indicted on charges they misused bank money in connection with political campaign contributions, including Bill Clinton's 1990 run for Arkansas governor. They are accused of using bank funds to reimburse themselves, relatives, and bank employees for $13,216 in political contributions.

Philip Morris, Brown and Williamson, and other tobacco companies asked the Mississippi Supreme Court to block part of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against them filed by the state.

California Gov. Pete Wilson refused to grant clemency to William Bonin, who was convicted of killing 14 boys. Bonin is scheduled for execution tomorrow. In Missouri, Jeffery Sloan, who claimed he killed his family on orders from his mother, was executed by lethal injection.

The World

Bosnian Serbs continued to evacuate Sarajevo suburbs as their wartime enemies - the Muslims and Croats - prepared to begin partial control of the areas tomorrow as provided for in the Dayton accord. About 18,000 are expected to leave Sarajevo during the two days preceding the change. Above, a Muslim woman and her child pass a checkpoint that separates Muslim and Croat areas in the recently reunified town of Mostar, where tensions still run high.

Russian troops took control of Novogroznensky, Chechnya, and Defense Minister Pavel Grachev called the latest military action against Chechen rebels a decisive victory. He claimed 300 rebels were killed during the operation. Each side routinely exaggerates the casualty figures of the other. Earlier, the Russian general in charge of the operation said most of the rebels escaped unharmed.

The world's first law giving terminally ill adults of sound mind the right to ask doctors to end their lives was passed by Australia's Northern Territory. In the Netherlands, euthanasia is technically illegal, but prosecution can be avoided if official guidelines are followed.

The Sea Empress oil tanker continued to spill its cargo at the mouth of an estuary near St. Ann's Head, Wales. The area is one of Britain's leading havens for gray seals, dolphins, and porpoises. The tanker has spilled an estimated 8.8 million gallons. By comparison, in 1989 the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons off the Alaskan coast.

The need to intensify efforts to combat global warming and prevent ozone layer depletion was agreed to by environment ministers from the 26-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris. OCED - a group of wealthy nations - also adopted an ''if you pollute, you must pay'' policy for environment management.

Israeli parliamentary elections will be held May 29. Despite the delay in setting a date, campaigning is already in full swing. Premier Peres has a 10 to 20 point lead in the polls over his main challenger, Benjamin Netanyahu of the right-wing Likud Party. A victory for Peres is seen as an endorsement of Israel's present Middle East peace policy.

A congressional commission in Colombia reopened an investigation into President Ernesto Samper's 1994 election funds. Samper has been accused of taking millions of dollars from the Cali drug cartel for his campaign. Critics question the credibility of the commission, which is dominated by Samper supporters.

Government jets repelled an assault by the Taliban militia on Kabul, Afghanistan. Earlier, a rocket attack blamed on the Taliban killed six people. Most of Taliban's members are religious Muslim students fighting to establish a strict Islamic rule.

Low voter turnout invalidated a Polish referendum on privatization. Only about 32 percent of 28 million eligible voters cast ballots. A 50 percent turnout was needed to validate the outcome. Most Poles were reportedly confused by questions that involved complex economic policies regarding the sharing of national wealth. (Story, Page 8.)

Iraqi defector Hussein Kamel al-Majid returned to Baghdad after a pardon from his father-in-law, Saddam Hussein. He was reportedly pressured by his homesick wife. Majid's brother, Col. Saddam Kamel, was part of the 12-member entourage to return from exile in Amman, Jordan.

Bill Richardson, a New Mexico congressman who has helped free Americans held in Iraq and North Korea, arrived in Kashmir to try to win release of four Western tourists held hostage for seven months. He was expected to meet with government authorities, Army officers, and separatist leaders during his visit.

Etceteras

Agatha Christie's murder mystery ''The Mousetrap,'' the world's longest-running play, passed a theatrical milestone with its 18,000th performance. The whodunit, which opened in London in November 1952 when Winston Churchill was prime minister, shows no signs of folding and is a perennial tourist attraction.

The penthouse atop the Pierre Hotel, the most costly in New York City, can be yours for $35 million. Within its 12,000 square feet are six master bedrooms, six wood-burning fireplaces, four terraces, three kitchens, and eight bathrooms. The spacious grand salon alone covers 2,800 square feet.

Campaign '96 Web Sites

See yesterday's paper for Republican candidates' Web sites.

Vote Smart Project - Links to government, US, and state campaign sites, plus Vote Smart's Political Awareness Test of candidates' support on issues - http://www.vote-smart.org

ElectionLine - ''Webzine'' created by ABC News, The Washington Post, and Newsweek magazine - http://www.electionline.com

All Politics - Webzine from CNN and Time magazine - http://allpolitics.com

Decision 96 - Webzine from NBC News and the Microsoft Network on-line service - http://www.decision96.msn.com

PoliticsUSA - Webzine from the National Journal and the American Political Network - http://www.politicsusa.com

Campaign 96 Online - Guide to on-line politics - http://campaign.96.com

Primary Destination: New Hampshire - National and local coverage by Foster's Daily Democrat of Dover, N.H., and The Citizen of Laconia, N.H. - http://www.fosters.com

Point Politics - Guide to the guides, with links to many of the sites above - http://pointcom.com/politics

SPOOF PAGES

Bill Clinton - http://www.clinton96.org

Bob Dole - http://www.dole96.org

Pat Buchanan - http://www.buchanan96.org

- Associated Press

'' They're going to come at us.... We no longer have the element of surprise.... Do not wait for orders from headquarters. Mount up everybody and ride to the sounds of the guns!''

- Pat Buchanan after his victory in the New Hampshire presidential primary.

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