News In Brief

THE US

The line item veto President Clinton just signed into law is already on its way to court. The National Treasury Employees Union has filed a lawsuit claiming the law is unconstitutional. The union's president says the group is concerned about "a hostile president who might veto a federal employee pay increase."

Federal agents continued to build their case against Unabomber suspect Theodore Kaczynski. Investigators in the Unabomber case think Kaczynski may have crossed paths with four of the victims, a law enforcement source said. Also, written material found in his cabin contains references to several victims, though it doesn't name them specifically as targets.

The former fiancee of an ex-Philip Morris executive has given eight boxes of documents to lawyers suing tobacco companies. Included was a 1965 memo stating the need to "determine the minimum nicotine drop to keep normal smokers hooked," NBC and ABC reported. Philip Morris dismissed the reports as a "bizarre stunt" by the suing lawyers. Meanwhile, the anti-smoking group Action on Smoking or Health has asked the government to block testing of R.J. Reynolds's smokeless cigarette Eclipse, calling it a "nicotine delivery device." The FDA blocked a similar cigarette in 1987.

A federal judge is considering Oklahoma City bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh's request for classified documents on international terrorist groups. The prosecution contends that there's no evidence of any foreign involvement. Also, lawyers for McVeigh and Terry Nichols say they will seek separate trials for the two men. A hearing on that has been set for Aug. 27.

Whitewater witness David Hale admitted to giving incorrect testimony in federal court when he pleaded guilty to charges in 1994. At the time, Hale said he had not benefited from fraudulent loans, but under cross-examination he admitted that he had.

Former US Rep. Dan Rostenkowski pleaded guilty to two mail-fraud counts. The former chair of the House Ways and Means Committee will serve 17 months in prison and pay a $100,000 fine in a plea bargain.

Cable-television customers are losing the ability to contest rates to the FCC. Instead, they will have to rely on state or local governments to file complaints on their behalf, agency officials said. The change comes as part of the telecommunications law. Also, under proposed FCC rules, cable companies could avoid rate regulation where they compete with telephone companies.

The freemen aren't planning to surrender unless they get approval of jury selection in their trial, James Pate, an editor for Soldier of Fortune said, after a visit to the Jordan, Mont., farm. Pate is the first journalist to interview the militant group since the standoff began March 25.

Threatening impeachment of judges over their rulings undermines the independent judiciary, Chief Justice Rehnquist said in a speech at American University. Last month, Clinton threatened to ask a federal judge to resign over his decision to throw out evidence in a New York drug case.

A federal judge in New York ordered Rwandan Hutu leader Jean Bosco Barauagwiza to pay $105 million to the families of genocide victims under the Alien Tort Act. Also, Clinton said the US has contributed $30 million in new funding to the UN refugee agency to aid refugees in Rwanda and Burundi.

US productivity was up 1.1 percent in 1995 - the best showing in three years, the Labor Department announced.

Former Disney studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg is suing the company for $250 million in a contract dispute. Disney should share profits he helped generate in a decade of hits, he says.

The US will make 1997 a "banner year" for environmental policy, Secretary of State Christopher said in a speech at Stanford University in California. The White House will seek further cuts in greenhouse gases, develop a sustainable management strategy for the world's forests, and press Congress to ratify the Biodiversity Convention.

THE WORLD

A cease-fire was called between warring factions in Liberia as US helicopters shuttled more than 130 evacuees out of the capital of Monrovia. The Pentagon dispatched two warplanes to the areas in case of further trouble. And tanks from a West African peacekeeping force rolled through the city. One faction began releasing African peacekeepers they were holding as human shields. US officials said about fifty of the evacuees were Americans, the others were foreigners requesting US help.

The Bosnian Serbs will be allowed to attend Brussels's conference on reconstruction Friday because they met the requirement of the Dayton accord, a top envoy said. Compliance included surrendering files on suspected war criminals, releasing three prisoners not suspected of war crimes, and moving remaining POWs to a location under international supervision.

Chinese Premier Li Peng was expected to sign economic accords in Paris that would help the French government secure billions of dollars in contracts with China. Paris police broke up an Amnesty International rally protesting the visit, the first since Beijing's 1989 pro-democracy crackdown. And China's President Jiang Zemin asked former President Bush to help smooth rough US-China relations.

More than 100 Somalis were killed and over 400 wounded in five days of inter-clan fighting in Mogadishu, the Red Cross said. Fighting broke out between forces loyal to Osman Ali Hassan Atto and Mohamed Farah Aideed, who controls south Mogadishu. Somalia has been without a government since the overthrow of President Barre in 1991.

Some 3,138 Japanese living near a US air base filed a lawsuit against the US and Tokyo demanding $30.6 million in compensation for noise pollution. It was the first time the US has been sued for aircraft noise. Also, the US plans to return 12,350 acres to Okinawa landowners in an effort to calm protests over US military presence there, Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper reported.

The Arab group at the UN asked for a Security Council meeting on the West Bank and Gaza, sealed off by Israel since the start of a wave of Muslim suicide bomb attacks against Israel. And Syria played down reports that President Assad agreed to meet Israeli Prime Minister Peres, saying a meeting would take place only if Israel hands over the Golan Heights.

US and South Korean officials met to discuss North Korea's repeated breach of a 43-year-old armistice. Pyongyang is seeking a new treaty with the US without South Korean participation. The US has said it will not negotiate with North Korea.

Some 99 Kurdish rebels and 30 Turkish soldiers were reported killed in fighting in southeastern Turkey. Since 1984, some 20,000 people have died in the Kurdish battle for autonomy there, home to one-fifth of the nation's 12 million Kurds.

Ukraine promised to close the Chernobyl nuclear power plant if the West offers more money to pay the bill. The statement was made at an international conference on Chernobyl in Vienna. The plant supplies 7 percent of Ukraine's energy and employs 6,000 people.

Ethnic violence in Burundi escalated to its worst level in months. Well over 100 people were killed in the week ending April 3.

Rescue teams began searching for up to 30 people missing in a shantytown of La Paz, Bolivia, after a mudslide buried scores of homes.

Colombian soldiers participate in anti-guerrilla operations after rebels launched a two-day offensive to oust President Samper.

ETCETERAS

This judge has seen no other case in which monetary damages were so inadequate to compensate the plaintiffs for the injuries caused by a defendant."

- US Judge John Martin Jr., ordering a Rwandan Hutu leader to pay $105 million to the families of genocide victims.

A copy of the first German Bible - a translation by Martin Luther printed in 1534 - went on display at the Library of Congress in Washington. The rare Bible is one of a dozen original editions of manuscripts, books, and pamphlets by Luther in an exhibit from the Saxon State Library in Dresden, Germany. It is in Washington till July 13.

Pulitzer Prizewinners

JOURNALISM

International reporting: David Rohde of The Christian Science Monitor.

Public service: The News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.

Spot news reporting: Robert McFadden of The New York Times.

Investigative reporting: The Orange County (Calif.) Register staff.

Explanatory journalism: Laurie Garrett of Newsday.

Beat reporting: Bob Keeler of Newsday.

National reporting: Alix Freedman of The Wall Street Journal.

Feature writing: Rick Bragg of The New York Times.

Commentary: E.R. Shipp of the New York Daily News.

Criticism: Robert Campbell of The Boston Globe.

Editorial writing: Robert Semple Jr. of The New York Times.

Editorial cartooning: Jim Morin of The Miami Herald.

Spot news photography: Charles Porter IV, free-lance.

ARTS

Fiction: "Independence Day" by Richard Ford.

Drama: "Rent" by Jonathan Larson (posthumous).

History: "William Cooper's Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early American Republic" by Alan Taylor.

Biography: "God: A Biography" by Jack Miles.

Poetry: "The Dream of the Unified Field" by Jorie Graham.

General nonfiction: "The Haunted Land: Facing Europe's Ghosts After Communism" by Tina Rosenberg.

Music: "Lilacs" by George Walker.

- The Associated Press

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