News In Brief

By , Abraham T. McLaughlin, and Peter Nordahl

The US

Republicans in ten states chose 259 delegates for the GOP presidential nomination. Most candidates acknowledged Senator Dole's momentum: Pat Buchanan said if Dole continues his recent winning streak ''a sense of inevitability will develop'' for Dole (above) to get the nomination. Lamar Alexander said he would quit the race if he can't beat Dole in next week's Florida race. (Dole, Page 1.)

President Clinton sent a team of antiterrorism experts to Israel to help combat the recent wave of bombings. The team is carrying bomb-detection equipment for use at border checkpoints. Also, hoping to salvage the Mideast peace process, the US called on Syria to condemn the bombings. (Opinion, Page 20; See also World In Brief.)

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Ford Motor Company. will cut 6,000 jobs from its 29,000-person product development staff over the next several years, The New York Times reports. Most cuts will come from long-term contractors, not those on permanent payroll. Ford announced other minor cost-cutting measures, such as saving $99,000 per year by not painting the inside of ashtrays on Explorer sport utility vehicles.

CEOs of 35 of the biggest US firms received an average of $4.37 million in compensation last year - a 23 percent increase from 1994, a Pearl Meyer & Partners survey found. A quarter of the total packages was in salary, which averaged $991,300. The report is seen as more fodder for the presidential campaign, whose participants have derided corporate America for high CEO salaries during big layoffs.

Vice President Gore called for more and better children's TV programming, asking the TV industry to take its pledge to rate programs for sex and violence one step further. Gore and Clinton support a plan to require networks to air three hours of educational programming per week - a proposal they oppose.

US officials in Hanoi sent homeward remains believed to belong to five US servicemen missing from the Vietnam War. The repatriation is the first this year in an eight-year joint US-Vietnamese search for the 1,610 GIs the US says are still missing.

Some 3,000 union workers at General Motors plants in Dayton, Ohio, went on strike. Contract talks are set for today over company plans to have outside firms produce parts - which the union says could cost 125 jobs.

Orders to US factories rose 0.5 percent in January, the second consecutive advance in what had been one of the weakest sectors of the economy, the Commerce Department said. (Story, Page 5.)

Florida Rep. Sam Gibbon announced his retirement. The often passionate and sometimes pugnacious congressman becomes the 26th Democrat to leave the House. Toby Roth of Wisconsin will also retire. He is the 15th Republican this session not to seek another House term.

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal claiming that the religious freedom of two Massachusetts high school students was violated by a school assembly that combined coarse humor and explicit references to warn students about the danger of contracting AIDS through sexual intercourse.

Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar had threatened to kill one of George Bush's sons, an informant from the rival Cali cartel told US officials in 1992, while Bush was president. The tip, which was disclosed Monday, set off a Secret Service investigation. Escobar was killed in a 1993 shootout.

The White House rejected a GOP budget plan to restore $5 billion in education and environment spending on the condition that the White House agree to cut Medicare, welfare, and other fast-growing benefit programs. On March 15, many government agencies' funding will expire.

A largely Vietnamese-American gang that looted up to $500 million in computer chips has been foiled by federal and California state police. An 18-month undercover operation codenamed ''West Chips'' yielded 50 suspects, weapons, stolen chips, and thousands of dollars in cash.

The World

Israeli troops raided the homes of suspected terrorists in the West Bank and barricaded more than 400 West Bank towns and villages. Earlier, Israel dismissed a cease-fire offer from the Muslim militant group Hamas, which claimed responsibility for four suicide bombings that killed 57 people in nine days. In response to a call from its political leaders, Hamas's military wing said it would stop its suicide bombings in Israel until early July. (Editorial, Page 20.)

Taiwan protested China's decision to conduct missile tests March 8 to 15 in waters off Taiwan. The tests are an intimidation campaign to warn against independence moves ahead of Taiwan's March 23 presidential elections, observers said. Also, Prime Minister Li Peng presented the ninth five-year plan to the National People's Congress. The plan set an average growth rate of 8 percent and endorsed President Jiang Zemin as China's main leader into the 21st century. (Story, Page 7.)

A British judge ordered Britain to reconsider its deportation notice to Saudi dissident Mohammed al-Masaari, a leading critic of the Saudi ruling family. Judge David Pearl said the government has not established al-Masaari's safety in Dominica, which offered to accept him. London believes Al-Masaari's activities jeopardize lucrative Saudi contracts with British companies, analysts said.

For a second day, Japan's opposition lawmakers blocked a vote on an unpopular plan to use $6.5 billion in tax money to help bail out failed housing lenders. But the opposition agreed on proposals for a special committee to consider a compromise. Also, the verdict on three US servicemen charged with raping an Okinawa schoolgirl is expected tomorrow.

The Bangladeshi government released three opposition leaders who were arrested during a crackdown on anti-government protests last month. And Prime Minister Khaleda Zia accepted a key opposition demand to hold elections conducted by a neutral caretaker government. But opposition parties demanding Zia's resignation called for a nationwide strike Saturday.

Some 16,000 civilians fled the Chechen town of Sernovodsk to neighbouring Ingushetia as Russian troops, backed by helicopter gunships, attacked rebel positions in the town.

Zairian troops withdrew from refugee camps they sealed off three weeks ago. The move apparently was made to review a failed campaign to convince the Rwandans to go home, the UN said. More than 1.7 million refugees - mostly Hutu - live in camps along Rwanda's border. Nearly 1 million live in Zaire.

Mexico's government asked its Supreme Court to reopen an investigation into allegations the governor of Guerrero state ordered a police massacre of 17 unarmed peasants last year. A special prosecutor closed the case last week. But Interior Minister Emilio Chuayffet said the ''gravity'' of the June 28 crime required that the nation's highest court oversee a new probe.

South African President Mandela checked into a Johannesburg clinic for three days of tests. The move was seen as an attempt to dispel rumors the president is ill.

Singapore said Internet access providers will have to block out sexually oriented and politically sensitive material. Information that might undermine public morals, political stability, or religious harmony will be weeded out of most web pages, a spokesman for the Singapore Broadcasting Authority said.

Etceteras

Two-dozen scientists launched a concerted attack against the environmental orthodoxy of the 1990s, saying Earth may not really be getting warmer and if it is, carbon dioxide may not be the major culprit. In a collection of essays released in book form, the group says more study is needed before the world tries to kick the fossil-fuel habit.

The Soviet Union surged ahead in the space race when it launched Lt. Yuri Gagarin into orbit in 1961. Now experts have learned that Gagarin's flight nearly ended in disaster, The New York Times reports. Sotheby's will auction off notes written by Gagarin's commander that tell how the spaceship, the Vostok I, spun dangerously near the end of its orbit.

Minnie Pearl, who died Monday in Nashville, endeared herself to audiences with her homespun humor and cry of ''Howdyyy.'' She was the first country comedian to be known worldwide.

Rogue Satellite Sightings (Revised)

The satellite that broke away from shuttle Columbia last week will be visible for one to four minutes in the western sky above some Southern cities this week. NASA revised the sighting times from those we printed in our March 1 edition. All times are local and in the morning.

Atlanta: 3/7: 5:54; 3/8: 6:15; 3/10: 5:22

Charleston, S.C.: 3/7: 5:55; 3/9: 5:03; 3/10: 5:22

Dallas: 3/8: 5:15; 3/9: 5:34; 3/10: 5:53

Houston: 3/8: 5:15; 3/9: 5:34; 3/10: 5:53

Las Vegas: 3/8: 4:46; 3/9: 5:06; 3/10: 5:25

Los Angeles: 3/8: 4:46; 3/9: 5:06; 3/10: 5:24

Memphis: 3/8: 5:15; 3/9: 5:35

Miami: 3/7: 5:54; 3/10: 5:22

Norfolk, Va.: 3/7: 5:57; 3/9: 5:03; 3/10: 5:22

Oklahoma City: 3/8: 5:15; 3/9: 5:34; 3/10: 5:53

Phoenix: 3/7: 5:26; 3/8: 5:46; 3/9: 6:06

San Francisco: 3/7: 6:00; 3/9: 5:06; 3/10: 5:24

- Associated Press

'' We will continue our search for peace, and at the same time we

will pursue you and hit you hard.''

- Leah Rabin, widow of former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, addressing the ''enemies of peace.''

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